What Are GSD Indicators and Why They Are Key to Your Best Year Yet

What Are GSD Indicators and Why They Are Key to Your Best Year Yet

The countdown is on to the end of the year. Your to-do list is probably pages long at the moment, with presents to buy or make, meals to plan, family to organise and parties to attend.

So in this week’s episode, we take a step back and do a reality check.

I mean something’s gonna to have to give right?

And therein lies an opportunity.

I’ll explain what I mean in today’s short, total teaching podcast.

2018 versus 2019

How was 2018?

Did you achieve the goals you set yourself for your business?

If not, that’s OK. You’re not alone.

If you are like me until recently, you may have set the right goals and had great measurements in place. But, if you are like me, even if you kicked some great goals, you may have often felt like you were pushing against deadlines and getting frustrated when you are sure there is a missing productivity link, but you don’t know what.

Well, it is most likely that even if your goals were great and your plan to achieve them may also have been great…. the indicators you were using to measure if you were on track are WRONG.

That’s the focus of today.

GSD Indicators and how to use them.

Here are the highlights of today’s show:

  • A simple but powerful reframe that turns end-of-year overwhelm into an opportunity for clarity
  • When is the best time to do your new year plan
  • Why many goals you set in your business simply won’t be achieved
  • What people usually measure and why that is wrong
  • GSD indicators and how this can revolutionize your business
  • Examples of GSD indicators for key areas of your business, such as revenue, leads and conversions.

OK over to you now.

And if you’d like more help to totally nail 2019, see below for some great resources, both free and paid, to help you get great results for more ease.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

How I can help you:

  1. Join me next week for the free training “Nail Your 2019 Profit, Impact and Happiness Plan.”
  2. Check out the CLEAR Time program. The Practical, Step-by-Step System To Get a Life, Get Cash-Flow and Get Heaps Done Without Burning Out
  3. If you want my help next year to nail your plan and implement with confidence this is the time to talk to me.

    My VIP coaching program is increasing by $1000 in January.

    If you’re wanting my help, reply and we’ll get on the phone to see which program is best for you (I have one for ramping up from new to online to 6 figures, and another for established businesses online ready to expand).

    You’ll be able to join at 2018 prices and get a bonus month, so you can relax over Christmas and start fresh in the new year.

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.


I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

Read The Transcript Here

Hello and welcome. Janet beckers here with this week’s episode of Romance, your tribe radio, and it’s a total teaching one day and I am hoping it’s going to be one that is going to really revolutionize the way that you are measuring goals in your business and the way that you’re setting them and importantly the way that you achieve them. It’s a really, really simple tweak that I’m going to be sharing with you, but it can make a huge difference. So stick with me because I’m going to share with you what I was doing wrong, what a lot of people do wrong and what to be doing instead. And the difference that it makes. It’s really quite simple. So that’s what I’ll be sharing with you now. At the time that I record this, it was just a few weeks before the end of the year, the end of 2018, you know, only a few weeks before it’s Christmas and New Year and all that craziness and it’s very likely that you’re thinking, Oh man, I’ve got so much stuff I wanted to get data and I have referred.

I haven’t achieved the goals I wanted to do for this year and now it’s going to get busy and it’s going to be, you know that it’s going to be January and you know I’m running out of time, so I’m also gonna share with you a little bit of a reframe that will change this from being a time when you can feel quite overwhelmed too. This actually being a really good opportunity, so I’ll share with you the reframe that I use at this time of the year and the reason I’m going to share that first before I share with you the different way of measuring and planning your goals is because what you can be doing now, this Aha that you can be getting here with your reframe for December. You can be carrying over into your planning. So let’s get stuck into it now. First of all, what is this reframe?

Now? One of the things that I find is whenever you get into a period of time when there is a real pressure to get what seems a ridiculous amount of things done. Now, this is the time of the year when that’s going to happen because not only are you trying to finish all the goals that you set yourself to achieve this year and you’re aware that we know we’re getting into the silly season, so you may not get the attention of everybody that you want. When it comes to sales is you’ve also got this other pressure. Haven’t here like you know this to do list for Christmas presents and you know who’s coming to his house or that coordinating stuff so it can get really, really overwhelming. So here is a reframe for you. Instead of thinking, I’ve got so much to do, I’m really, really overwhelmed. I’m never going to get it done.

Here’s a reframe. I can’t get all this done so something’s got to give so I can only in my business and in my personal life do those things that are the absolute top priority. So in my business, what are the things that are absolute top priority? If I don’t get anything else done, what is the thing that’s going to make the most difference to my business and everything else? Just has to go, okay, and the same thing happens when you’re working out around, you know, the whole Christmas thing. What is the most important thing? Everything else. It doesn’t have to get done now, for me, Christmas is not been stressful for years. We’ve taken this approach and people still get presence. We still have a great time, but it’s just, I don’t know. It’s just calming and the same thing when it comes to business at the end of this year.

Now the reason why I want to make sure this reframe for you is this, busy time can be a really great way for you to filter what things really do matter and what other things are making you feel busy or feel God or you think you should be doing them, but are they actually going to be making a difference to the profitability of your business and how well your business gets results for your clients. The two really big things, so it acts as a really nice filter. So with this beautiful knowledge that you have now, this big sort of clarity about really what does matter and what is not as important. Let’s take that over into planning for next year. Now this is something that I do in detail with my rising stars clients for example, and also it’s something, an outline and all the templates and the process to follow is in my clear time program.

Now I’ve got links for you here because I’ve, I’ve actually just recently relaunched or made available this module. Normally it’s only available to people doing my hiring programs but it’s actually available now and so you can be going through that. So I’ve got the links there for you. So if you’d like to join the clear time program, it’s really cost effective and it’s gonna walk you through how to get these great results. So that’s my little plug for the day, but that’s how I can help you to actually take more action with this. So when, so this is actually the time of the year to be planning the first quarter of next year. Don’t try to wait until January. Okay. Don’t go Nicole. And worry about that once this whole craziness is over because the reality is and why it happened for a week or so into January. Then you’ll start planning things.

I’m not going to move along until the end of February and the end of January. Sorry. That’s my hope is that long. You could be losing a month and that’s just, just tell you from experience it happens. That’s what used to happen to me. So this is the time of the year to be planning out the first quarter. So what you want to be taking into that is what are the things that are absolutely important. Now, what I want to share with you is just a simple concept. I’m not going to go over here, all the things that you do to be able to plan out a really effective 90 day productivity plan and a marketing plan and how to do the year plan so that you get on live and get a holiday. Um, and I’m not going to go into all of that detail on, you know, how do you break down what you’re going to be doing and the productivity.

That’s all stuff I do in the time program, but when I am going to focus on here is the one thing that can make a huge difference to you next year. So whether or not you do any of these other things, this is what I want you to do now when it comes to setting goals in your business, and we always work on a 90 day period and we focus on the thing that’s gonna make the biggest difference. Very often what will happen is we will set ourselves goals now that could be good, better, best goals. And I’ve got a link in the show notes here too. And what I mean by that, an article that I’ve got all on that this is what we, this is how we, the language that we use in our programs when I worked with people is when you’re working at your goals, what is the main thing that you do?

Is it may be right. I’m going to sell, I’m going to get this many new clients. I’m going to have, um, you know, I’m going to sell this many of this new program. I’m going to make this much revenue and they are important goals to have. You need to have those things to mark, to be able to plan for and to be able to, you know, meet your financial commitments and to be able to know, you know what, this is what the goalposts look like. They are really important things, those goals, but let’s think about it. Those goals, their results aren’t they? They’re results of actions and this is where most people go wrong. They may write the list of actions that need to happen, but when it comes to measuring and having very specific goals that are going to get you those results, this is where it is often missed.

So if you’re finding that you have in your plan and just say your 90 day plan, you know, I’m going to make this many new clients, this many sales, this much money, if that’s all you’ve got in your goals section, it’s very unlikely you’re going to hit those results. So how do you get those results? So let’s look at the two main things that are really important for you in your business. When it comes to growth, when it comes to revenue, there’s lots of other things that are important, but we’re just going to look at the two big ones and that’s going to be the number of leads, so the people who are subscribers, people who get to hear your message, so those people who were interested in what you do enough that they will then listen to what you’ve got to say to convert.

So we’ve got leads and then the other thing that we have is conversions. How many people that were interested in what you do actually purchased. So let’s have a look at, okay, if we’re going to be really focusing on conversions, well just say that you do most of your conversions through telephone calls. You get people onto the phone and you talk about what they need. You tell them what you’ve got available and it’s a match made in heaven. So what you really need to be doing that is all right, how many telephone calls to I need to make? How many people am I going to be speaking to every single week? And if I want to have that many people every single week, how many times do I have to have my message in front? How many people do I need to have they’re inquiring that are going to hear my message?

So whatever your main way of getting people to convert it might be getting them to turn up to a Webinar. It might be getting them to see a sales page. It might be sending an inquiry to you through facebook messenger because he’d been putting, you know, you’ve been writing posts that talk about getting on the phone with you. Whatever the mechanism that you use, that’s what you’re going to measure. How many people turn up to your Webinar? How many people do send you a message? Which means how many posts are you going to do that mention that? It’s time to get on the phone with you. So bring it down to that level because they’re the kind of things that you can measure. How many phone calls do I do this week? Right? And he did half the amount that I that I need to do in order to hit my goals better.

Ramping up, so that’s an example for conversions. If it comes, say to building your list, getting more leads. If you’ve set yourself, I want to have, I don’t know, an extra thousand people this month, join my mailing list. Well, how many people have to actually see your opt in offer? It maybe twice as many. If you get a 50 percent conversion, which is a really good one, that’s what we get for most of ours. So may need to be twice as many. Where are they coming from? All right, if you’re doing facebook ads, how many people do you need to click on your facebook ad to be able to get those conversions? So at how can you then work with your facebook ads to increase that number? So that’s what you need to be focusing on. Okay? As so, you know, right, I didn’t get the number of pages people going to the opt in page or whatever it is that you use for getting new subscribers.

Um, then you know that, okay, this is what I need to be focusing on because I haven’t achieved that goal. This can make, honestly, this will make a huge difference to you in your business. So some people may call them leading indicators. Um, I like to call the get shit done indicators like, did I get this stuff done? What did I have to do to make the result that I want happen? And okay, if I didn’t get that done, if I didn’t get the number on the phone or I didn’t get the number joint, see my, my, my offer, what have I got to do? That then allows you to really work at much smaller intervals like focus on a week here and then the next week and the next week rather than that really big, intimidating goal that sometimes can feel unattainable. I can. So I’d love to hear from you.

Um, is this something that you set your goals specifically around and is it something that you measure or is this something that is where you’re going, oh, I’ve actually been focusing on the big one and then I get frustrated that I haven’t achieved them. Now I understand why I’d really love to hear from you. This is just two of the things that are important for the growth of Your Business, I’ve just looked at which is conversions and getting new leads. Of course there are other things there as well that come to creating an absolute rocking business that gets results for your clients and creates the lifestyle that you want. So I’d love to hear from you. This is the time of the year to be able to really sit that plan at least for the next three months. So I’d love to hear from you. Have you been doing, you know, have you been planning for next year?

What’s your big goals like, you know, what is it that you have as your get shit done, goals on your plan. I’d love to hear from you. So please share down below if you would like some help doing this. There are links in the show notes for the clear time program where I’ll walk you step by step through doing all of this and more so that you’re actually working from a place of calm and flow to actually get these things achieved. Um, so I’ve got that. Therefore you end. If you would want to work with me a bit closer, let me know, drop me an email because I’m just now preparing for our March next year for people to be able to join me in my rising stars and accelerator programs. So if you’d like to find out a bit more about working with me, much, much closer, just drop me an email and I’m height we can get on the phone. There you go. There’s a measurement. Alright. Can’t wait to hear from you. I really do hope that this has helped you and um, go get them folks. Bye.

8 Steps to Free Yourself from Overwhelm in Business

8 Steps to Free Yourself from Overwhelm in Business

Every entrepreneur feels overwhelm in business at some time. After all, when you have a strong vision that pulls you forward, there can seem to be an endless list of things to do to make that vision a reality.

And if life isn’t crazy enough, once you start building your business online the opportunities and options can get overwhelming. Websites, podcasts, videos, funnels, course creation….. enough already!

So much to do and so little time! I get it.

But the reality is, if you don’t have a system to quickly prioritise projects specific for YOUR business and YOUR goals, then overwhelm can destroy your business.

That’s what I’m sharing with you today.

A repeatable 8 step system to free yourself from overwhelm in business.

It’s exactly what I do when my vision moves faster than me (too fast sometimes, and I’m sure you get that). And, because I know you’re short on time, I’ve outlined it in brief below, with some other great resources to help you, and whipped through each step for you with action steps in the podcast.

Now, if you ever hear yourself say “I’m so overwhelmed” STOP IT!

That phrase is banned in my home and business. Instead it is replaced with these 8 steps.

In today’s teaching podcast (and cheat-sheet article) I share:

  • Why entrepreneurs get overwhelmed so often and how to know the signs
  • The core focus areas and why you need to know exactly which is your priority each month
  • How to eliminate the majority of options in a simple 3 step process, and then know which ones to schedule and which ones to dump
  • A simple 1 page tool (I’ll give it to you for free) that takes the emotion out of decisions so you can say NO easily
  • How the concepts of The 3 goals, the Book of Squirrels and The Celebration Box can stop overwhelm raring it’s ugly head

So tune in to watch / listen / read (whichever one floats your boat) as I share step-by-step the system to ban overwhelm from your vocabulary. I’ve also got some great gifts and special priced programs for you to help you further.

Go get ‘em folks!

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

8 Steps to free yourself from overwhelm in business

There is nothing more frustrating, or confidence-crushing, as having a vision of the business you want to create yet you seem to be working long hours and getting nowhere and feeling stressed and close to burn out.

Meanwhile you see other people who seem to get stuff done so quickly and remain calm and happy (surely they must be faking it?!)

It’s even more frustrating if you have worked hard yet you’re not seeing the results in your business for all that hard work.

The reality is, there will ALWAYS be more opportunities, more SHOULD, COULD, WOULD do on your to do list and I know how it feels to feel like a kangaroo paralysed in the headlights of overwhelm and you simply can’t move forward because you can’t make a decision.

That stops here!

This is how I get myself out of overwhelm and take the emotion and fear out of everything.

Step 1: Decide what your # 1 focus is at this exact moment:

Websites, podcasts, videos, funnels, course creation….. enough already!

Add to this, the serious FOMO you get every time you learn of a new strategy that the numerous “gurus” swear is the secret to success!

The thing is…. all of the strategies I’ve mentioned above DO work! I know, because I teach and implement them all in my own business. But you can’t do ALL of these strategies at once, and some are just not necessary for your particular business at this stage.

They will still be there next month or next year. The important thing is you choose the strategies that are most important for you RIGHT NOW.

So if bringing in cash is your top priority at the moment, then your podcast can ait to be launched. Creating an offer and sales letter is a higher priority.

So decide, what is your #1 need in your business NOW. Here are few categories to choose from:

  • authority building
  • research and establishment
  • list building
  • conversions
  • Income
  • Expansion

Step 2: Get it out of your head

Write the list of everything you can think of that you have floating around in that head of yours. All the things you think you should do, could do, love to do, see others do, business bucket list. Don’t leave anything in there to eat away at your subconscious and derail your focus.

Think of this as getting everything out of your wardrobe to see, before decluttering.

Step 3: Compare this list against your priority outcome focus

OK now you need to start being ruthless here.

Go down that list and highlight everything that DIRECTLY impacts on the area you have already decided is most important for you right now in your business.

Everything else…. ditch it or add it to your list to be reviewed in 90 days (more on this below).

Now, watch what you do here. If you find yourself saying things like “ooooh but I’ve been wanting to start this podcast for ages and I know it will rock…and really the credibility and exposure will definitely attract clients and increase sales.

Yes it will….

But if your top priority is CASH right now, then stop trying to make that outfit fit (going back to the wardrobe analogy here). Park it to make a priority when your business outcome focus is authority building.

Step 4: Assess your available resources

OK now you’ve been ruthless and parked everything that does NOT directly meet your focus outcome, we need to get ready to prioritize.

We can’t do that until we can compare how easy each option is going to be.

So look at each of the options and record:

  1. WHO can help? Do I have access to these people?
  2. What have you already got partially completed or have resources for?
  3. Do you have the skills yourself to do this or is there going to be a steep learning curve?

Step 5: Rate each option on ease and goal impact

Let’s take the emotion out of it.

Go down the list and rate them out of 10 on how easy they are for you to make happen and how much of an impact they will have.

You are looking for ones that have biggest impact for least effort and also if there are some with less impact but so quick and easy to do you can delegate or knock off fast.

Others may be brilliant but you need to plan to do them well, and others, well…you may need to ditch them, no matter how cool they are.

And hey, when it comes to ideas that don’t make the grade (yet) here’s a clever idea to save them, but in a practical way that gets the subconscious sabotage of “what if” out of your brain and onto paper. Introducing The Book of Squirrels.

Hey this process of rating Impact and Ease and making decisions can sometimes be hard to do. So I have a gift for you.

The exact tool I use to make this process simple and fast. It’s called The Chaos To Clarity Tool and you can download it here (it’s just 1 page)

Step 6: Do a 90 day plan

It is so tempting, when you have decided your priorities, to get started straight away.

I get it because that is my default setting.

I default to “OK decision made, now let’s make this s#*t happen.

The trouble is, that way always end in tears.

There’s always something really important that is left to the last minute because you hadn’t taken the time to see what needs to be done and what needs to be delegated.

In the Rising Stars Coaching Program, we do everything according to 90 day plans.

We use a template to identify priorities, set the goals for each 30 day period, identify what resources we need to get it done and importantly, how we will celebrate.

Once the 90 day plan is done, the decisions and thinking is done.

This is our guiding star for what happens next, and if an opportunity comes up, it is always assessed against the 90 day plan.

It takes discipline to create, and discipline to stick with it.

But this one thing alone will prevent overwhelm and make your business so much more profitable.

For a limited time I share all the templates and training on 90 day planning as part of my CLEAR Time program. You can check it out here.

Step 7: Review and accountability

It is one thing to create a 90 day plan, it is another to actually stick with it!

That’s where accountability comes in.

Find an accountability buddy, a business friend, a coach, a mentor….and show them your plan.

Ask them to hold you accountable and agree on how you will report to them.

The potential for humiliation is a powerful motivatorJ

Review and reflection is just as important as creating a plan.

But you need a process to not just look at what you did and didn’t achieve. You need a process to really deep dive into WHY.

This is something I do with my Rising Stars Clients every 90 days and it is powerful.

I also teach it in the CLEAR time program.

Step 8: Plan to celebrate

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, no sooner have you finished a project or task, then you are already jumping straight into the next one.

We are always driven by future thinking, visualising and planning for what happens next.

Know that this is normal…. and a sure-fire way to guarantee overwhelm in business!

I know how poorly most people do this, so I have a solution for you called The Celebration Box. You can find out all about it here, plus 100 ideas on how to celebrate.

Now You Have a System……

It’s one thing to have a system… it’s another to use it.

So I want you to repeat after me….

“Discipline is my middle name”.

Because it is the combo of a repeatable system and the discipline to use it that will free you from overwhelm in business and bring more joy to your life.

I’d love to hear from you, if this helps and if you have any tips top share with our readers.

Just comment below.

And hey, if you have a friend who needs to be freed of overwhelm in business, please share this with them.

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.


I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

Read The Transcript Here

Hello and welcome. Janet Beckers here with a Total Teaching episode this week of Romance Your Tribe radio. Today, we’re going to look at a really common problem that is going to strike every entrepreneur at some time, and that is absolute overwhelm from all of the things that you need to do and try to make that decision on which things I need to do and which things I shouldn’t. And you know what? If that sounds like you, if you’ve ever got to that point where you’re thinking, “You know what? I’m busy. I’m running a business,” or, “I’m trying to grow a business, and then, also, I have family. I have a personal life. I have dreams of actually just chilling out, but at the same time, I’m trying to grow my business, I’m trying to create new programs, and learn this whole internet marketing thing, and every time I open up my email, there is another email telling me about this fantastic really good strategy that I really should be doing.”

And they work. So how do you know which of the things are going to be the things that you should be focusing on. So that’s what we’re going to be doing today. I’m going to share with you my eight step system for getting out of overwhelm. Now, total transparency here, I get overwhelmed, too. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. We all do. But the thing is, if you get stuck and trying to make those decisions kind of makes you get stuck and you can’t move forward, if you don’t get unstuck and you stay there for too long, your business is really going to get damaged. You cannot afford to stay there just staring into space going, “Oh, what do I do? It’s all too much.” You can’t do it. So you need to have a system to get you out of that overwhelm quickly so you can move on and get shit done. So that’s what I’m going to be sharing with you, that eight step process to get that stuff done and get over the overwhelm.

I use this exact same process myself, and I use this with my clients. As well as the eight steps, I’m also going to share with you some other articles that I’ve done that can help you to totally nail some parts of it if you find that’s your challenge, and I’ve also got for you a gift that’s going to help you to really implement this and get unstuck really, really fast, like a 30 minute job. So let’s get stuck into it.

Now, I know how busy you are, and the thought of learning in a eight step process to get out of overwhelm could be overwhelming. So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to whip through this quick. So that is my intention, to give it to you, just no fluff. All right? So get ready. You can take notes, but I’m also … If you’re listening to this on iTunes or if you’re watching the video on wherever it is, just know if you come over to the blog post that goes with this, I’ve got those eight steps there all for you laid out and the links to everywhere else that you can go to get the extra resources so you can just get stuff done.

All right, are you ready? Get that stopwatch ready now. Okay, here we’re going to go through the eight steps. Number one, decide what your number one focus priority is at the moment. Now, when I say at the moment, that could be like this week, or it could also be in the next 90 days. I like to work in 90 day periods. That’s what I do with my VIP clients. We plan on 90 days. But what is your absolute number one focus. To give you an idea here, and we’re not talking narrow, like tasks. We’re talking about your priorities. So for example, it might be content creation and authority building. You know, creating enough visibility out there to show this is what I do. But what if you look ahead the next few weeks and you go, “Oh, bugger, I can’t see any money coming in. I’ve got all these bills and no cash.” Well, your priority is not authority building, your priority is to get some cash in, baby. It’s income.

Now, what happens if you’re going, I can see this is coming up, but you know I don’t have an audience to sell to. Well, your priority is list building. So that’s going to be your priority. You might have … Another thing might be, you know what? I’m going to get ready to launch a new program, or I’m going to be opening up a new business, or I’m going to be expanding some part, or I’m going to change things. Well, your priority might be you know what, you’ve got to make some decisions around … You’ve got to do some of the research. You’ve got to work out what is it that people want, and you’ve got to do that planning so that you can then take action. That may be your number one thing.

Or your number one thing might be, ha if only I have the time to do this stuff, because my business is so flat out, I am booked out. I cannot book another person in. I need to expand my team so that I can free up my time to do all these other things. Well, that may be your top priority. You may not be able to implement anything else until you can make your priority about getting the right team members. So that’s what I mean when I talk about what is your number one priority, because we’re going to use that in all the rest of the steps to act as your filter. So that’s your number one. What is your absolute number one focus, your big priority in terms of the major outcomes that you need in your business.

All right, step number two. Whipping right along, folks. Step number two is get all that stuff out of your head, okay? All those things that you have got floating around in your head acting as some serious, serious sort of mental wardrobe clutter. Now, get them all out onto paper or a spreadsheet or whiteboard. Whatever works for you, just get them out because as long as you’ve got one of those ideas floating around there in that space, it’s going to distract you. And you won’t be able to stay clear on what you’re doing. So all of those things that you’ve been thinking about.

You know, if they’re all the different list-building projects that you’ve been thinking about, the kind of programs that you could be creating, the formula that you’ve thought of that’s your signature forum, the podcast that you’ve been thinking about doing, the Facebook ads, you know all … Running a retreat, running a workshop, running webinars, all those things that you have in your brain as your business bucket list, or the more to do’s or your should do’s, could do’s. Get them all out, okay? Get them onto that list because now, we’re going to look at step number three.

Step number three is, I want you to look down all that list of things that you have been jarring around in your head, using up all of your energy, keeping you just stuck. Now I want you to go back to number one where we worked out what was your number one focus, your big thing that you really need to be focusing on as a priority in your business. Now, go down that list, and anything that does not directly contribute to that number one thing, I want you to move it aside, okay? You can put it over there, and you can make decisions on that later.

It may very well be that that’s going to be the one that you’d look at in the next 90 day period. Or you know, you’ll look at that when you’ve done the things where your priorities may change. Because if they’re not focusing on the thing that is really important to you at the moment, which might be bringing in some income, making the sales, or it might be getting that list so you’ve got an audience. Whatever it is, don’t put it under somewhere else. It can come back. It can wait. It’s not that important, because it’s not your number one priority. Really, really important to do.

Now this is where it comes in to, and I will have a link down here for you to the Book of Squirrels because there’s going to be some things there that you go, “Oh, but I really, really, really want to do that one right now because it’s fascinating, it’s interesting, it’s so cool. You need somewhere to put that, and that is the Book of Squirrels. So I’ve got a link there for you to explain what is the Book of Squirrels and how do you use it, and what is important to put in there that it’s more than just a list. So you can go and check out that one.

All right, now we have a list of ones that are only related to your major outcome for this period of time. Number four, right. Now what we’ve got to do before we can make any more decisions here, I want you to look at what your available resources are. For example, do you already have an offer that’s already ready to go? This is just saying if you’re focusing on making money. Do you have an offer? Do you have some kind of program? Do you have a sales page, or do you have a brochure, or do you have a process to get people to a sales call. Like you already had that, awesome. Then you’ve already got some kind of resource, some sort of asset there.

Do you have somebody that you can get to do that stuff for you? Or do you already have something nearly all finished? This is really typical with list-building. You’ve got nearly everything finished, but you just haven’t put the opt-in page or you haven’t worked out how to drive traffic or done Facebook ads, any of that sort of stuff. It’s what things have you already got created or already have processes for, or already have people who can do those things for you, and what have you already got? What’s your bandwidth? What are the skills that you’ve got that you can already be bringing to be able to do some of these tasks. That’s really important to be aware of what you do have. Okay, we’re not looking at what you don’t have. I’m sure that stuff goes through your head all the time. We’re looking at what have you already got. What assets, what resources, what abilities, what people? So who have you already got?

Okay, so that was number four, assessing the resources that are already available. All right, now we go to number five, and I have a really, really good free tool for you that goes with this podcast episode. It’s my free ‘Chaos to Clarity Tour.’ This is a one page sheet, a PDF that once you’ve got that, it’s pretty self-explanatory. You can do the process that can take you back 30 minutes. This is what I want you to do in a nutshell, especially what we’re going to get that’s going to make life so much easier for you. Now, the thing that you want to make a thing here is, I want you to have a look at all those things that you’ve got on your to-do list that relate to your number one priority, and I want you to go through them and give them a rating. I mean, the tool I’ve got for you helps you to do all this, but I want you to assess how much impact is each one of those going to make?

So, if your goal is to bring in some cash, out of all of those which one’s going to give you the greatest amount of cash. If it’s list building, which one of these is going to give me the most people for my mailing list? That’s service impact, okay? Don’t think about all of the other yes, buts. All we’re looking at is the impact on there. The other thing I want you to do is go and rate them all as well for how easy they are. That ease, so with ease it could be how fast can you do it, how simply can you do it. Like, from you thinking I’m going to do that to actually it happening, how easy or hard is that going to be?

You’re going to have some things that you know what? I could get this finished today and it’s done. Or I could outsource it to somebody else, and they can get it done really, really quick. Or you know what? That’s actually going to take a long time because I don’t have the skills to do that, and I don’t have anybody I know who’s got the skills. I’m going to have to find somebody to do it. Blah blah blah. Or you know, I can do that, but I know it’s going to take a bit of a lead-up time to do the job properly. So that’s how you work out how easy it is. You want to look at what sort of impact it has, and then what sort of ease is involved.

Again, go and have a look at the ‘Chaos to Clarity Tour.’ You can get it by going to www.romanceyourtribe.com/chaos. So C-H-A-O-S, like chaos. That’s probably what’s in your brain at the moment. So go over there and you’ll be able to get that tool. Again, there’s going to be some things here that you’re going to look and go, “You know what? That one, it’s not really going to have that much of an impact, and it’s a lot of work. I think I’m going to ditch it.” Or some other things you’re going to go, “You know what? That could be super good, but not really at the moment. I’m going to put it in the Book of Squirrels, or I’m going to plan it for later.” The tool that I’ve got for you makes that decision of which ones to ditch, which ones to implement, which ones you might not get as big an impact but you can do them super quick. You know, they may only be a half hour job, yeah let me do that. So that tool works all that out for you.

Okay, so that got us to, that was step number five. By this time you should be a lot calmer, because you’ve been able to take any of the emotions out of what you’re doing, and you’re making a decision on what you’re going to be doing as your priorities based on actually looking at impact and ease, especially if you use the tool. You’ll be taking even more out of it. You’ll have a number, and then you can just plug that in, and you’ll know straight off.

Now you all have an idea about what your priorities are in what order. Now, let’s get this stuff happening, baby. So that’s going to move us on to the next steps. The next step, number six, is do a 90 day plan. Now, it’s one thing to go this is what I’m going to do, and then just start working on it. That’s really, really typical to do. But what you want to do is, you want to work out actually what is the outcome. How do I know when I’ve done this and why am I doing this? I’ll put a link down to you below to another article I’ve got on goal-setting. Really smart goal-setting, but not as smart as GOAL acronym, but for good, better, best goals and how they get used.

This is what we do with my clients. We work all the time on 90 day plans, and that directs everything that we’re doing and it’s what we’d use for assessing. And for each of those, we create good, better, best goals for the whole 90 days, but also for every single month. So you know exactly what you’re aiming for to get done. It’s one thing to know what you’re going to do, but the other thing is to actually get it done. So that 90 day plan is a really powerful tool, and it makes you stay focused until you’ve got it done. And you know if all of your effort has been successful because of the goals that you set. So use the good, better, best.

This is something I use with my VIP clients. It’s part of our Rising Stars programs is, we work on our 90 day plans, and we have 90 day planning days and we have 90 day review calls. But it’s also part of my clear time program, which is one module where I’ve got all these resources. And my actual process for being able to get things done without burning out and to be calm. So I’ll put a link down for you below so you can go check that out. It will be also at romanceyourtribe.com/clear. So if you can go there, you’ll be able to see the and check out that program, that may be really, really helpful for you. I’ve got all the templates and worksheets and everything for doing 90 day plans, and also the 90 day review process, which is really important.

So that brings me over to the next one, which is step number seven. You need to have a process for reviewing and accountability, because otherwise you can just keep on being busy and really just spinning your wheels. You want to be affective. So as well as knowing that you’re focusing on the things that’s going to give you the outcomes that are most important in your business, you’re also going to be looking at … What was I talking about here? What’s important in your business, you’re also going to be looking at your goals and have you met them. So you need to have some kind of review process, but not just a review process that goes, “Oh yeah, that was my goal. X number of revenue or X number of people on my mailing list or one new staff member starting on this date.” Whatever it is that you had as your priority, that’s not enough.

You need to have a review process that goes deeper, that allows you to look at why you did get the goal or why you didn’t and really sort of dive a bit deeper about why is this success or why isn’t this success happening? So you need a review process that’s going to do that for you. Yeah, that’s a big thing that we do in the Clear Time program, as well. So you can check that out if you need some extra help with that one. But make sure that you’ve got some kind of review, and somebody that’s going to hold you accountable.

Now the next one, and this really ties in with all of this, and this is something that we actually do during the 90 day planning process, is decide how we’re going to celebrate. How are you going to celebrate you focusing on what you said that you were going to be doing, and what are you going to be doing if you reach your good goal, your best goal, your better goal? How are you going to celebrate? Decide that at the beginning, because that’s one thing we do so poorly as entrepreneurs is, we keep looking for the next to-do, the next to-do and if you don’t want to get overwhelmed again, you need to make sure that you take time to acknowledge and celebrate.

I’ve got a link here for you as well to a really great article that I share the celebration box the way that I work with my clients for a way that we can celebrate that takes a lot of you know, you making judgment calls out of what you do. And I’ve also got there, I’ve asked all these different friends of mine to share what they do as a way of celebrating. So I think it’s about 100 ideas. So go over there. I’ve got the link there for you in this article, as well.

So that gets us to the last part. In quick summary for you, these are the eight steps. Decide what your number one focus is on at the moment, the number one priority that you need to be really doing in your business. Then get out of your head a huge list of absolutely everything that is floating and buzzing around in there in your could do, should do, would do list. Then number three, compare everything that’s on that list against your number one priority, and only include those ones that relate to your big goal. Then I want you to assess your available resources so you’ve got an idea of how easy it’s going to be for you to do certain things. Then I want you to rate each of those things that are on that list for the impact that they can have on your major goal, your major focus, and how much ease it’s going to take for you to get those done.

Then it allows you to be able to rate them so you can do the things that are going to have the biggest impact with the greatest ease. Then number six is you’re going to take action, and to do that you need to have a plan, which is your 90 day plan, and we’re going to be setting goals at the end of that, but also for the milestones each month in between. Then we’re also going to be doing a review process. That’s number seven. And accountability so that you can actually look back and see, “Did I meet my goals? Didn’t I meet them? Why or why not?” So that I can improve next time. And then the very last one is we’re going to plan to celebrate and tie that in with your achievements so that you’re going to be effective rather than just busy so that you’re not going to be overwhelmed, that you’re going to stay focused on the things that are most important to you.

Okay, so that is Janet’s eight step process for getting out of overwhelm. Getting stuff done and getting a life without you burning out, and without your business suffering because you are stuck. I’ve got a few resources here that I’ve mentioned for you. The number one for you to go and check out is romanceyourtribe.com/chaos, because that’s going to give you my one page ‘Chaos to Clarity Decision Tool’ that’s going to help you to work through that process to be able to know what are your number ones, what’s your number one thing that you’re going to get the best results from so you can make a decision and get going. So that’s the great thing for you to be able to start with.

And I would love to hear from you, does this help? Leave your comments down below or find me over on Messenger or drop me an email. Whatever floats your boat, but let me know. I’d really love to hear if this helps you, and any other great tips that you may have for other people who may be listening or watching, that’s going to help them as well, because I’m sure you’ve got some really good ideas, as well.

Okay, go get them, folks. Bye.

How Your Small Business Can Help Reduce Global Poverty

How Your Small Business Can Help Reduce Global Poverty

World Poverty. It it such a complicated problem and for us in wealthy countries, where I routinely fork out $4 for a flat white, it is hard to get your head around the fact that half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 per day and nearly half of those survive (or not) on half of that!

We’re talking billions of people here.

It is such an overwhelming and complicated issue, those of us lucky enough to live in comparative wealth, can feel powerless to do anything about it.

Because it is a BIG problem, we can assume that only BIG actions and BIG financial contributions can have an impact.

Well, it turns out this is far from the truth.

In fact, as entrepreneurs, we have the potential to make a huge difference throughout the world and you don’t have to wait until your business has made millions to create an impact.

That’s the topic of today’s podcast as I introduce you to one of the co-founders of the company I have partnered with to make a very real impact on the lives of people less fortunate, through the power of small.

You’re going to love my interview with Paul Dunn, the chairman of of B1G1. Such an incredibly inspiring and genuinely adorable person.

In this interview, Paul and I cover:

  • How a business idea that has impacted millions of people, started from an off-hand comment that Paul couldn’t even remember making…. And caused his soon-to-be co-founder Masami Soto a week of sleepless nights as her mind buzzed with ideas and possibilities.
  • How 162 MILLION impacts started with the thought “ Imagine a world where every time a business transaction is done something great happens as a result of that transaction.”
  • How B1G1 is different to normal charities and is designed to work specifically with small and medium sized businesses.
  • The system I was looking for that would make it easy for me to make a difference NOW.
  • How creating my list of “15 Things We Believe” showed me I wasn’t walking my talk consistently and what I did about #13 on that list.
  • The weird obsession accountants have with goats
  • How we have involved our clients with our culture of giving and using this as another inspiration to create success in my own business.

I also share below a “cheat sheet” action plan for you, so you can assess your own approach to philanthropy and start to make a difference in the world through your own business NOW.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below.
Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

The 5 Steps: How Your Small Business Can Impact World Poverty Now

1. Get Clear on What You  Believe

When I went through the process of consolidating my business under our brand Romance Your Tribe,  I led myself through a process I now guide my Attract Your Tribe clients through.

I know that a tribe will only form around a brand if the leader can say “this is what we believe around here”. So I took the time to get clear on this and the result can be found here on this page “The 15 Things We Believe”.

This acts as my “guiding star” and I refer back to it constantly to make sure my business is growing and operating according to what I believe.

Doing this made me realise I was not walking my talk. I did everything on the list but #13 I only  did adhoc. I did not have a system in my business to ensure I constantly walked my talk.

Here is #13 and this lead me to seek a charity partner who would help me create a system around giving.

We BELIEVE money can make a huge difference in the world

So we proudly sell and focus on building a profitable business and help our clients to do the same. We can then help others less fortunate than ourselves by supporting charities that focus on education and entrepreneurship in poor communities.


We BELIEVE money can make a huge difference in the world

So we proudly sell and focus on building a profitable business and help our clients to do the same. We can then help others less fortunate than ourselves by supporting charities that focus on education and entrepreneurship in poor communities.

2. Get Clear on What Projects Align With Your Business

When you partner your business with a charity, you are doing more than simply giving to a charity. You are aligning your brand with the charity and with the project you are giving to.

It is more than simply giving based on your personal priorities and passions.


For example, what you may not know about me, is I am a passionate greenie. Proudly so. I care about the environment and the legacy we leave our children. So on a personal level I give to environmental charities.

I am also passionate about my local community so I volunteer as an active surf lifesaver and give financially to my local surf club.

I am also passionate about supporting our youth to give them confidence and opportunities so I have secretly supported, both  financially and emotionally, a few teenagers in my children’s social circle, who were disadvantaged. I cry with pride when I see what wonderful things they have gone on to achieve, knowing I had a small part to play in their confidence.

For example, every time a new member joined my Attract Your Tribe program, to celebrate, on their behalf we sponsor a woman in Malawai, Africa for 12 months of business mentoring run by local people.

Our business is all about mentoring and entrepreneurship, so we chose to support a project that does the same for other women.

So choose a project that aligns closely with what your company does and what you believe.

I still don’t get the fascination accountants have with goats though 🙂

3. Find a Charity Partner You Believe In

There are so many charities in the world. It’s quite overwhelming actually!

You may already have a charity you love in which case, approach them and ask how you can work together to achieve your goals together.

You may also have a local charity you want to support.

Just be clear on what you look for in a charity partner.

My Criteria For Choosing a Charity Partner

  • The money must actually make it to the people in need, not be consumed in administration (b1G1 charge an annual membership fee which covers all administration and even bank fees. So everything I raise after that goes 100% to the people I want to help).
  • The projects are all vetted on the ground to ensure they are run well
  • The projects create leverage so helping one person has a ripple effect so they can ultimately become self-sustaining.
  • I want to be part of a tribe myself. I want to find a charity partner who will enable me to connect with like-minded businesses so I can learn from their ideas and be part of something even bigger (B1G1 facilitate this through video conferencing and an annual conference)

For me B1 G1 filled each criteria. They actually work WITH multiple charities, rather than run the projects themselves. I like that. They do what they do well, and let the charities they vett to do what they do well.

Create your own set of criteria for how you will choose your charity partner.

4. Involve Your Clients

If all of humanity does this, then the spirit of humanity can shift and amazing things can happen.

The people who I work with, the people who are drawn to me and that I’ve designed my business to attract, are people who want to make a difference. They genuinely care about the people who they help as their customers. I found that it can be really frustrating when you have that vision, but you don’t necessarily have the tools to be able to do it.

So I give them the tools through the action we take on their behalf.

I involve my clients as part of the giving by linking transactions, or milestones in our business, with giving. So when members join our Attract Your Tribe Program, our VIP mentoring programs, and in fact any program we create and sell, we send a message of gratitude and celebration, sharing exactly what impact they have made in the world, by trusting us to do business with.

You can see our commitments and projects over here on our World Tribe page.

The B1 G1 website has some great stories of how different businesses involve their clients in the process of giving.

5. Link Your Success With Your Impact

This is where you are creating a system around your culture of giving, rather than giving ad hoc when you think you have spare funds (what I was doing before). And in business, it is systems and sustainability that create success, in everything you do.

Here are 2 ways to do this…

1. Links Sales With a Commitment To Give… and be transparent

Ooh now this is a big one and one that made me nervous.

It’s easy to say publicly “this is what we will do”.

It’s another to actually do it!

So force yourself to be accountable by sharing your results!

That’s what I’ve done here over on our World Tribe Page.

I can tell you now it makes me nervous. As soon as I did that I had immediate feelings of inadequacy!

And that’s a good thing. Because I am super motivate now to sell more, so I can hold my head up with pride as our givings increase.

Go on…… I double dare you!

2. Link Giving With KPI’s You Want To Improve

One of my KPI’s in my business is how many people actually finish the training programs we deliver and how many get results. So I challenged myself to think of a way to meet my KPI and linking it with giving.

So this is what we did:

Measure Success

To measure success, I added a survey members can complete only when they complete a program.

This measures their results and before and after measures of success.

Link KPI Improvement With Giving

My challenge now is to keep on tweaking the way I help people to get more and more people to succeed and complete our programs.

We involve them in the process by tying another gift of business mentoring to a disadvantaged woman, every time they complete a program.

For me, this inspires me even further to make my programs awesome and has a very tangible measure that makes both me and my client get a dose of feel-good fuzzies when we have both reached the finish line of a program.

What can you do to tie giving with KPI’s you identify you want to improve?

A Simple Action Step

If you want to get started with B1G1, just go to B1G1.com and look at the site. You can go ahead and click on “Join Us”. Or, you can find something that offers you a free Giving Plan that’s simply magical.

In just six minutes, you can go ahead and describe yourself. Talk about what you do, what you want to do, and what’s stopping you from doing that. The big difference is that it’s not an AI. You’re actually talking to a human person. You can also opt to arrange a dialogue at a later time. Then you can really make amazing change.

What do you think about today’s podcast? I’d love to hear your thoughts about B1G1 and how you think you can apply this system to your own business. What’s something you care about? What connections would you love to make?

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.


I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

Read The Transcript Here

Janet Beckers: Hello and welcome everybody, Janet Beckers here, and I’m very excited to welcome you and introduce you to Paul Dunn, the founder of B1G1. Hi Paul!

Paul Dunn:  Janet good morning! You’re very excited? I’m very excited so [crosstalk 00:00:16]

Janet Beckers: Yeah! I’m really excited because we are going to be talking about something I am incredibly passionate about, and that is the impact that you can make worldwide, not just in your own business, not just to your clients, but entrepreneurs we have the potential to actually make a difference throughout the world, and having a system that will enable you to do that is one of those steps.

So that’s why I’ve invited Paul today because Paul is one of the owners of the company or the founder of the company, that we have aligned ourselves with B1G1. I will hand over to Paul to introduce himself and tell you about B1G1 and then stick with us because we’re going to talk about giving through your company, and we’re going to talk about you don’t have to wait until you have made it until you can actually make a difference in the world. We’re going to talk about how to do business for good and those micro-commitments that you can make. Okay, so great, now over to you Paul. Who is it that you’re [crosstalk 00:01:20]

Paul Dunn: Well thank you again and to those of you listening thank you for being here too. I promise you it’s going to be a really exciting, hopefully enlightening conversation, at least something you’ll enjoy. So to answer your question Janet, and thank you for the question, what a great question that is that you asked, what I do is I get up every morning to work with business owners, mostly small to medium scale, tiny to medium scale businesses to help them create more impacts in our world than they ever thought possible. At the same time what happens is when people do that, it’s interesting in that introduction in there where you talked about the role of giving, and sometimes we think that what giving is all about is helping others. But what we sometimes forget, in fact almost always forget, is that we can actually help ourselves right.

Janet Beckers: Yeah!

Paul Dunn: It really, really does, and so I’m really looking forward to getting into all of that. I think I have the best job in the world working globally now, I think we’re in 43 countries or something like that and if we were doing this in our home office you would see behind me just yesterday actually we reached $162,000,000 giving impacts.

Janet Beckers: Wow.

Paul Dunn: Yeah that’s amazing, isn’t it? [crosstalk 00:02:39] And that’s from a standing start in 2007 when we first had the idea, but the idea it’s an interesting idea and it sounds very simple but it’s an idea that actually took three years to get into action, to actually make it so that people could actually be a part of this, so yeah it’s really cool to be here with you and to be able to explain some of that, and also at the same time make people feel really great about their listening as well.

Janet Beckers: Fantastic. So going back to 2007 you said it was…

Paul Dunn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Janet Beckers: …you came up with this idea. Now if you could just share with us what was the idea and what started you with your idea, so that people can get an idea of what the core reason why you started. Why then? Why this? Then we can talk about what you do now.

Paul Dunn: Well I think as each of us travel in life there are certain critical moments where- where we are now if you like, its critical moments and certainly finding or founding B1G1 was absolutely one of those critical moments. But there were a couple of things that went on before that were kind of interesting. One was, when I realized if you’d have asked me at that point in 2006 for example, if you’d have said to me, “What’s business all about?” I would have said, “Business is about two things. It’s about creating enormous value for the people you have the privilege to serve and it’s about having fun doing that.” And then for a particular circumstance which we could take all day to talk about, I realized there was a third element that was really important, and that was to be able to do all of that while at the same time make a difference in our world just by doing that. And that got me in a particular state, this critical moment, which happened when I was mentoring Masami, Masami Soto our co-founder of B1G1, and we were in this mentoring session. At the time she had a tiny, tiny business and all the businesses she had started Janet, up until that point in time, the only reason why she’d started them was to give in some way.

Janet Beckers: Right.

Paul Dunn: She had this tiny little business, it was called Bouncing Olives, and she was in this mentoring session and she happened to bring the packaging of this product, a gluten-free frozen food is what it was, and I think many of us listening now can relate to the fact that she was getting up early in the morning to Google the farmer’s markets [crosstalk 00:05:41]

Janet Beckers: Right.

Paul Dunn: And on the side of the package she had this little star burst, and the star burst said, it wasn’t specific, it said, “When you buy this nutritious food, it helps us support a soup kitchen in India. And I looked and that and said, “Oh my goodness, I’ve heard of buy one, get one, but that’s buy one, give one.” And at the time to be brutally honest, that was like some kind of smart remark it was like, “Oh look at that.” But when she heard that it was like boom!

It just hit her and then seven days later, because that particular conversation was taking place in Bali at a program I was at, and then seven days later I was back in Australia, in Brisbane where I lived at the time and Masami lived there as well. She called me and said, “Hi Paul, how’re you?” And I said, “I’m fantastic, how’re you?” And she said, “Cannot sleep seven days.” And I said, “Why have you not slept in seven days?” And she said, because when they have that kind of accent you try to reflect it, so she said, “Because buy one, give one.” And I vaguely remember that and she said, “Well that’s very important. Because,” she said, ” I realize that if I can do this we can get rid of the existing business and what we can do is to create a world that is full of giving because,” she said, “that’s a happier world.”

“Okay.” I said, “So how’s that gonna work?” And she said, “Imagine you go to an electrical store,” she actually used the term Harvey Norman for those of us who know what Harvey Norman is in Australia, she said, “You go to the electrical store and you buy a plasma TV.” And I said, “Whoa, whoa, stop, stop. If I go and buy a plasma TV, they’re not gonna give me another TV with the buy one, give one right.” She said, “You misunderstand.” And I said, “What is that I misunderstand.” And she said, “Well you buy the plasma TV because you need or you want better vision. So how would it be when you do that if someone who cannot see gets the gift of sight.” And I went, “Oh my God!” And she heard that and then said, “Oh you have a [inaudible 00:08:27]. So I’ll get some access to pure, life saving water or someone that buys your book, a tree gets planted.” And that was when I said, “Can I be your mentor for the rest of your life?”

That set us off on this journey. So Masami was saying at that point, “Imagine a world where every time a business transaction is down where something great happens as a result of that transaction.”

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn:Then imagine that you can define exactly what that transaction is. Sorry, what the end of that transaction is, and it can be strange. We had lots of accountants for example around the world who say every time we created, I don’t know whey Janet but they love goats I have no idea why.

Janet Beckers: Oh accountants love goats.

Paul Dunn: I have no idea, I have no idea. They say things like, “When we created a new client we make sure, through B1G1 obviously, that a family in Kenya in this particular case gets a goat so they can create sustainable income for the rest of their life.” It’s amazing! I had one guy there, his name was Roland Welsh, and over these past three and half years, what is it? Thirteen hundred and twenty-six goats I think.

Janet Beckers: Oh wow!

Paul Dunn: So-

Janet Beckers:  And the nice part, in one side of it we can kind of laugh a little bit because we go, “What is it with accountants and goats?”. You would think that is really strange, so from one side we would go that’s hilarious, but the other side is how many goats just this one [crosstalk 00:10:14]

Paul Dunn: In this particular case thirteen hundred and twenty-six, yeah.

Janet Beckers: Thirteen hundred and twenty-six goats. Now a goat to a poor country, to a poor family, that serves as a business or food? What impact does that goat make?

Paul Dunn: It does it absolutely does, and what’s interesting, there’s a couple of interesting things about that. The first thing is when we think about what is commonly referred to as the one to one movement, and then there are some famous things around that like Toms for example, you know you buy some shoes you give some shoes. Or Warby Parker, you buy glasses and you give glasses-

Janet Beckers: Or the toilet paper!

Paul Dunn: Oh yeah, the Who Gives a Crap kind of thing.

Janet Beckers: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Dunn: So in B1G1 someone once described it as one to one on steroids because you can determine the giving, as you know because you’re doing great things here as well, across literally hundreds and hundreds of pre-approved high impact projects that you know really work and you can have some confidence in.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: What makes that even more interesting is that you can then determine impacts, [inaudible 00:11:43] and we’ll talk about that in a minute, that have some relevance perhaps to the customers. So let’s say for example you happen to be dealing with a teacher. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say, “As a result of this transaction,” whatever that transaction was-

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: “Seventeen kids got access to e-learning to completely change the outcomes in their life.”

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: By the way, interestingly enough, you talked about earlier that someday I’ll kind of thing like, “Oh I’ll get around to this at one point.”

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: And funnily enough at that point Masami was in exactly that position. This was the dilemma at that point, the dilemma was that she desperately wanted to give, but at the same time she had this business that have to survive. So she found that, “Yeah I want to do that!” But it’s like oh someday I’ll because we tend to think that it takes masses to make a difference. Then of course the magic was to be able to say, “No, no actually. One cent, literally one cent, and give a kid access to an education.” Literally one cent.

Janet Beckers: One cent.

Paul Dunn: In fact, it’s been less than one cent actually, but we don’t have a denomination that lets us do that. It gives access to pure, life-saving water and so there is literally no excuse [crosstalk 00:13:30]

Janet Beckers: We’ve talked about where the idea came from, and I love the idea that you had the mento and you had a woman whose incredibly giving and wanted to make a difference but didn’t see how to make that work. So I love that combination. Just to acknowledge Masami is in Singapore, you’re actually in Singapore at the moment. I will introduce her to all of you at another stage down the track as well.

Paul Dunn: Oh I mean talking with Masami is like-

Janet Beckers: Another stage down the track as well.

Paul Dunn: Oh, I’ve been talking with Masami. It was like, “Whoa”.

Janet Beckers: Right.

Paul Dunn: [crosstalk 00:14:05] about it.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. So, now if we move forward. I’ll tell you from my experience, what it was like to come in to into, into finding a company like B1Q1, and what is it like the actually work with them. So, if I can just flip it around, to what you have created together because the thing that we found with us is… when it came to actually deciding that we want to give now. We don’t want to be waiting until the next number and the next number and the next number.

Paul Dunn:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Janet Beckers: Because the reality is even as a business grows and grows and grows, very often your expenses grow as well.

Paul Dunn: Yes. They do. Yeah, you’re right.

Janet Beckers: And so there’s always “Oh yes”, you know, the next and the next thing.

Paul Dunn: Exactly.

Janet Beckers: Now, out of the things that we did is our business… this last year I’ve been doing a whole rebrand of our business called “Romance Your Tribe” and-

Paul Dunn:  “Romance Your Tribe”.

Janet Beckers: As part of that I thought you know what, I’m going to work through what is… what do I stand for. Why is this brand, why is it representing what we do and what my vision is for the future and as part of that I came up with 15 things that we believe.

Paul Dunn: Everybody listening “Go, go, watch it. Go look at on the other side. It’s amazing these 15 things.” Yeah.

Janet Beckers: Thank you, Paul. You know, I’ve found it a really good experience to do and it’s actually one of the things I guide my clients through now and I’ll put a links on the page here, where the Podcast is. You can have a look at that, and I used that as kind of my, keeping me accountable to myself. ‘Cause if I’m saying, this is what our business believes, well I’ve got to check in every now and then, to make sure am I actually reflecting that and one [crosstalk 00:15:52].

Paul Dunn: It’s your guiding star.

Janet Beckers: Sorry.

Paul Dunn: It’s your guiding star.

Janet Beckers: Absolutely, a guiding star.

Now, one of the things I recognize is number 13, was that we believe that money can make a difference in the world. So, we run our own business profitably, sell with pride, help our clients do the same. So that we can then make a difference to people who are poorer and especially I want to make a difference to women in business, ’cause I know that, that’s going to make the biggest difference, with a ripple effect.

Paul Dunn: Absolutely, it does.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. I kept on looking at that going you know, I’m doing this ad hoc. If I’m going to be doing this as a business, it’s needs to be making it. So, this is a system, it’s actually part of our business but it was really difficult to find the right partner to do that with, because you either really committed to building a school or it might be micro-loans, those sorts of things.

I wanted a stronger relationship. I wanted to be able to, make an impact and I wanted to be able to bring it into the way we did our business and I wanted it to be very aligned with, what the other things I believe. That what we do with our clients. So, it was actually was very difficult to find a company that, that allowed us to do that and let us pick and choose the projects that were going to be best for us and also the make it so, that I could really use it as an incentive for my own growth. That the better I did, the more that I could help people. I wanted to bring my clients with that as well. So, one of, actually one of the people who is in my “Track to Tribe” program, Terry Phips, who you would know, Paul.

Yeah. She introduced me to the idea of B1G1 and so I’m very, very grateful to that. So, the nice part is that it means that, you can, exactly as Paul has said… the hardest part was deciding which of these projects, which had all been-

It was really hard. I had to actually bring it, I actually had to… I said these are guidelines. This is how we choose. This is aligned with our business, so it’s not just me giving personally, this is what business stands for.

Paul Dunn: Yeah.

Janet Beckers: I had to get other people to help me choose ’cause it was just so difficult. We ended… it made it very easy because you know, for example, we’ve made it for every single person who joins our mailing list. We take a total at the end of the month and that’s given to water, because I know without healthy water, you can’t move forward. That’s only like one cent per subscriber. My challenge to people who are here, is one cent per subscriber, not only are you going to grow your business, it’s actually making a huge difference.

Paul Dunn: Huge difference.

Janet Beckers: Huge difference.

Paul Dunn: Yeah.

Janet Beckers: And then we also tried, we were also able to look… well for people who are into business programs, business building programs, our “Track to Tribe”, our VIP one’s, what other difference can we do. So, we found one of your wonderful programs where, every time that I have somebody that comes into any our mentoring programs, we actually pay for a woman to be mentor for 12 months, in Malawi.

Paul Dunn: By the way, that one is an awesome program.

Janet Beckers: It just looks fantastic and in our higher end programs, we also give a loan to start that business. So, you know, these are not things that are saying, that I have to give 50% of my profits, you can decide each time. So, for me on the other side, coming in, was the be able to find the right company but also have a company that really helps to grow and connect other like minded businesses. Would you mind sharing a little bit about that Paul? Because that’s something that’s very, very unique about B1G1. Because you’re not only helping these projects that you have vetted and you know that the money gets to them, but you also have a whole part of your business that connects like minded businesses to help them to grow, to help them to do even better. I found that incredibly enticing.

Paul Dunn: Well it’s true. It’s right in the name of your business, you know, we want to build a tribe, right. So yes, it’s connecting. You mentioned Terry. It’s connecting like minded people, it’s learning from them as well. It’s getting in forums them them and sharing ideas. It’s all of those sort of things.

For example, I was in two of those earlier this week and about to get in one this afternoon again. In one, someone made this really interesting point, that comes to the thing that you’re saying. In as much as it use to be that what you would, you would say “X, Y, Z company, your company proudly supports you know, some charity somewhere”. Nothing wrong with that but this woman, her name was Stella in Sydney, and she said “You know what, I could be doing that”. But she said “The great thing about being on G1, is that”… she’s in a recruitment space and she said “So, what happens in our business is when someone for example, places the candidate, they might get X dollars for doing that” and she said “But we don’t talk about that. We bring them in and we have a little celebration and we say, as a result of that 50 kids just get an education for an entire year”.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: It’s, you know what I’m saying. So, there’s a whole, sort of a personal thing and it’s those kind of stories… and the other thing that I just want to mention as well, is the stories go two ways. For example, talking about the goats, in those communities, that community with the goats, they loved this idea of B1G1. Which was originally was “Buy1Give1”. So, what they do in the community themselves, right, is whenever they receive a goat they make a commitment to themselves that the offspring from that goat, they have to give the first kid to their neighbor, have to.

Janet Beckers: Seriously.

Paul Dunn: Seriously. Exactly.

Janet Beckers: Oh, I love that. So, there’s a true culture of paying it forward, not-

Paul Dunn: Yeah, yeah [crosstalk 00:22:32]

Janet Beckers: It’s within the people who are receiving it.

Paul Dunn: Exactly right.

Janet Beckers: Wow.

Paul Dunn: And also, and there’s so many stories about that. Where for example, the kids are benefiting from E-learning and their parents see that, and they go “Wow, that’s very interesting”. These are parents in rural India, in this particular case, and they actually, in every case, they’ve gone to these really tiny, quote unquote schools, right. They’ve said to the teacher, “Would you mind opening up the school at night, so that we can learn”. The magic of that, is that it’s the kids that are actually running the programs for the parents.

Janet Beckers: Really.

Paul Dunn: Yeah, yeah.

Janet Beckers: That is fantastic. And that’s, I just love those stories Paul because they’re, that’s where the change happens. It’s not just… You giving one thing. It’s that ripple effect, that empowering. To have these children, are the ones that are teaching, or are teaching their parents, allowing things to happen, for another generation. That’s-

Paul Dunn: And I got another sort of full circle thing, on that-

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: Recently I was in Ireland, in Dublin, and someone was just joining B1G1. Her name is Karen O’Dwyer, and Karen has had an interesting little run with MS, as in Multiple Sclerosis and she’s actually free of that now, so and through B1G1 and through the community, that were helping her talk more about that, so more people can actually get it. Anyway, so she sent her first gratitude certificate, which is where you say to your client by the way, we didn’t tell you this when you joined us but we thought you’d love to know that, [inaudible 00:24:27], as a result of this, you know, three women got [inaudible 00:24:31] or whatever it was. And she’d been on a support call go through some of that and so she did it. Then she wrote back instantly to us, emailed, and said “Thank you for that. Helping me get that gratitude certificate done”, and she said “But I realized when I sent it, that it’s giving me life”.

Janet Beckers: Right.

Paul Dunn: How cool is that. You know what I’m saying.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: There’s this beautiful, I guess you would call it virtuous circle that goes on.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: That it’s not about… I mean it is about beneficiaries in the accepted sense of the word. You know, the kids that get the water or whatever it is, but we also need to remember that it impacts us. It really does.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: So, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to do build it in. Just like those 15 things in your business. Again, this guiding star and when that becomes part of a guiding star, it’s just amazing with what happens. In fact, you know, we used to talk about B1G1 and one would say things like “You give from one cent”, used to say “100% of the giving goes, we actually even make up the bank charges, so that it is the 100%” and all of these sorts of things and we track the giving as you know.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: And there’s so many things and then we’d talked to some of our members and said “This is the thing that we say, what is it you say” and they just said, “One of our team members did this little survey and they said that it transforms our business”. And we said “Wow. That’s interesting”. And then we said “Well, why is that? How would you describe that?” And they said “It’s just a beautiful phrase. You will love this Janet. She said, or the people said “It shifts the spirit of our business.” When I think… I if you think about humanity in the bigger sense of this then I’m not sure there’s ever been a time when the spirit of humanity can shift and do some amazing things as a result. Fortunately, we are seeing that happen.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. You know, I love that phrase, “How it changes the spirit in the business”.

Because I know for myself, as I was telling you before. Paul was asking you know, who will be listening today?

I’m saying, “Well, the people who I work with, the people who are drawn to me and that I’ve designed my business to attract, are people who want to make a difference. They genuinely care about the people who they help as their customers. So, they are driven to create transformation and we talk a lot about the transformational journey of you know, you have a process where you help people to go from point A to point B but before we can even look at how you help people, we got to look at what works for you. Why are you driven to take people from point A to point B? What is it that you get out of it? And uniquely, why are you, what part of your story that makes it that you can help people? That you have that process and so the people who work naturally in that sort of space, are driven usually, not just to make a difference in their lives, make a difference to their clients but they’re about transformation. They’re about making a difference in the world and it can be really frustrating when you have that vision-

Janet Beckers: And it can be really frustrating when you have that vision, but you don’t necessarily have the tools to be able to do it.

Paul Dunn:  Exactly.

Janet Beckers: It can be really, really frustrating, and I love what you’ve said about how it creates that spirit because with what I’ve found through being on G1, and I’m incredibly grateful that you and Masami had the foresight and the skills to make this happen because it’s given people like me, and I know a lot of the people who will be listening, that tool to be able to create a transformation beyond everything else that you’re doing.

It’s interesting. I found once we, this worked out how we were going to align different programs with different projects, it made me then start thinking about, “Okay, well, if I really want to be making a difference here, an important thing for me is not that I just provide these programs that I help my clients with, I want them to get results. I want them to finish the programs. I want them to take actions.”

So that started me thinking about, “How can I tie all of this together?” So that’s one of the extra steps we did was at the end of our attracted tribe program, people have a survey to fill out that shows what they did at the beginning, what they did at the end. They can’t see that survey until they’ve completed it.

And then as soon as they’ve done that is a way of all of us all celebrating together is, we sponsor a woman for another year. And so for us it gets us thinking, “What do we have to do to get people to that stage?” So you can actually use this as a way of changing your spirit of, let’s not just look at the sale and give people the tools.

What can we do to absolutely make sure everybody is actually gonna get the results and get the change? Even though you will be doing that anyway, it makes you think a bit more creatively. [crosstalk 00:30:02]

Paul Dunn: I don’t know if you noticed, but you probably knew you are so good to listen to. Did you know that?

Janet Beckers: Thank you. Thank you.

Paul Dunn: It’s inspiring, and what’s really inspiring as well is it’s not just, it’s inspiring but at the same time there’s real steps, so it’s solid. It’s like, “Oh, okay.” It’s not just some, “Isn’t that a wonderful thing to listen to.” It’s actually and to do that, you do this. And to do that, you do this. And to do that, you do this.

And it just happens, right? It’s beautiful to listen to all of that.

Janet Beckers: Thank you for that. Well, I’m a very strategic sort of person, so, yeah. That’s why I’m grateful for the tools because I had literally been looking for about a year or so, looking for the right partner that would have the right tools to enable me to make a difference.

So and that all started from a relationship between a mentor and a mentoree, that you could both see, I love how you said, “Can I be your mentor for life?” And look at the difference that you’ve been able to make because of that.

Paul Dunn: And the other thing about it, too, is that, I do genuinely believe that I’m just so, so lucky. And part of that luck, if you will, is, and this is not meant in some sexist way. I’m in awe of women. I really am. And I think, as our world shifts and has shifted, then what I see is that women get it.

Now that doesn’t mean that we guys can’t get it. It doesn’t mean that.

Janet Beckers: Of course.

Paul Dunn: What it does mean is that women get it intuitively. You know what I mean? It’s just extra sort of sixth sense. So in B1G1 where it’s gonna have this sixth sense of Masami, I can say that she turns my world upside down because what seems obvious to me, “Well, you should do that?” She goes, “Why do you think that way?” And all of a sudden, bang. Some new idea comes out.

And of course, one of the things that’s also interesting is to see that in the environment. So because you, you were saying about how thrilling it is to be able to choose and so on, and what we’re seeing now is where people are saying, “Okay, so, in this launch, we’re going to focus predominantly on environmental projects, as for example.” And you’re choosing to wrap this up.

Next month is gonna be, maybe against them. And the month after that it’s going to be women’s empowerment. And we see that in the most interesting ways. For example, there’s a coffee shop in [inaudible 00:33:06], and when you go in and you pay the bill, they give you this little business card thing. It looks like a business card, and there’s a little thing on the front of it which makes sure you turn it over, and it says, “Thank you for visiting us today. We thought you’d love to know that just as a result,” and then they will talk about a child got access to water or whatever it is. And you should see what happens tomorrow.

Janet Beckers: Ah.

Paul Dunn: And the next day it’s something different, right? And then they say, down at the bottom of the card, “By the way, you can track all of that. Just go to [inaudible 00:33:43], go off to our site,” and you can literally see that in real time. And it’s not about the money. It’s about the impacts of being creative.

So the thing that you then see is that, what happens is, you know Brene Brown, one of my fellow TEDX speakers, says connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: And so when you have connection, you have meaning in purpose. When you have meaning in project, connection. And so the beautiful thing here, and you were talking about this circle thing is that you get connected to yourself through this process, and as a result of that it’s almost like you’ve created a magnet to which other people want to connect as well.

So then they get connected and then it starts to go like that, tribes-

Janet Beckers: Absolutely, absolutely.

Paul Dunn: It’s great thing to be a part of.

Janet Beckers: That is tribe. Yeah. Well, let’s look at action steps now. What are some action steps that people can take now?

And this is my challenge to you beautiful listeners. The difference, you make a difference by, every podcast that I do we will have action steps, and the big difference that you can make is to go, “You know what? I’m going to take one action step from today and do it this week.” That’s where you start. It builds and builds and builds, and you end up making huge differences in your business and in your life.

So this here is gonna be a particularly impactful action step that you can take. So this week for people to be able to make that difference and to start making a broader impact, what would be the best action steps do you reckon, Paul?

Paul Dunn: Janet, I’ve never heard anyone describe the benefit of action the way you just did. Awesome.

And so what you’ve made me do is think about that in a slightly different way. I’m actually going to give two which flows from one.

So the first thing you need to do is you should visit B1G1, that’s like B, followed by the number 1, followed by a G, followed by a number 1 dot com and just start looking at the website.

One of the things you can see there is things that, “Join Us.” You can choose to do that. But what you might want to do, which in some ways might be even better, is as you’re doing that, if you’re very observant, you’ll see at the top of the screen, there’s a thing that comes up, and it says, “Oh, you might want to get your free Giving Plan.” And that is magical.

What that does is, and it’s just a couple of, more than a couple, it just takes six minutes for you. And what you do is you describe you. You say, this is what I do, this is why I haven’t done this before. These are some of the challenges I think might be there, da, da, da, da.

And then we, and it’s not artificial intelligence. It’s actually a human being-

Janet Beckers: Oh, okay.

Paul Dunn: And they look at that and they, “Oh! Okay, that’s interesting.” And then what happens you can optionally arrange a dialogue with, saying which by the way you will love. As I said to you earlier on, Janet, I’m actually home this morning, but I can’t wait to get in. You know why? Because I get surrounded by people having these dialogues. It’s just amazing, honestly.

Janet Beckers: Fantastic.

Paul Dunn: Couple that with a giving plan. Sometimes we forgot there’s an impact plan, but usually a giving plan. And it’s beautiful because it just lets you kind of think about and you talked before about being strategic, and strategically go, “Oh, okay, well, yeah, this makes sense.”

And to realize as well, as you said on your own Janet, this is a great movement that we’re part of, and choose to be a kind of a movement and connect and so on and so forth and be a part of.

So the first step, go to B1G1.com and get that giving form done and go from there.

Janet Beckers: That’s a great action point. That’s brilliant. And I’ll also put down below, I’ll put links where, I’ve got a page where you can actually hold me accountable. I’ve got it very visible about the impacts that we’re making, so it makes me go, “Oh, I don’t want to be embarrassed when people aren’t there. I give up. There!” And it’s got links to B1G1 as well, and you can have a look at all of those things.

And if you’ve got any questions at all, of course go over to B1G1, but I’m more than happy to answer any questions that you’ve got as well, so you can contact me through the usual ways.

Thank you so much today, Paul. Very, very inspiring. Thank you for what you’ve done. Really, really great.

Paul Dunn: When you go there. Bearing in mind the time of the year we’re at, you might also want to go to B1G1.com once you’ve done all the things that Janet and I just talked about, then just go forward slash and then write these next things out as one word and lowercase, and it’s just “impactworldtour.”

When you click on that, you will actually see how you can get to see literally and interact with Masami, and I’ll be taking a part of it as well. And most importantly, to get back to this whole thing about tribe, be there as a part of the tribe as well.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Paul Dunn: Take a look at that. It’s a really cool thing.

Janet Beckers: Excellent. Well, I’ll be having a look at that as well because I’m really looking forward to connecting closer with other like-minded businesses, so.

Paul Dunn: Yeah. Definitely.

Janet Beckers: Thank you so much for your time, Paul, and thank you everyone for taking the time.

Paul Dunn: Janet, you’re amazing! Thank you. It’s just been, what a great way to start my day. Thank you.

Janet Beckers: That’s wonderful! Thank you. Bye, everybody!

Paul Dunn: Bye!

3 Ways to Get Control Of Your Cash Flow (And Sleep Better at Night)

3 Ways to Get Control Of Your Cash Flow (And Sleep Better at Night)

What comes to mind when you think of cash flow?

In my experience, when I talk cash flow with business owners, especially in the coaching or service industries, I usually get one of the 3 following responses:

  1. The Heightened Stress Response….. That haunted stressed look you know is a result of waking at 3am most mornings, with a panic about bills that are due next week and you don’t know if you have the cash on hand to pay for them.
  2. The Abdication Response…… When they say “I don’t really worry about that, I leave it to my accountant / book keeper / partner”. But when diving deeper, they haven’t delegated, instead they have abdicated responsibility and don’t proactively manage cash flow. Instead they react to problems.
  3. The Blank Face Response…... often followed by “oh you mean profit?”.

TRUE CONFESSION: I have had every one of these responses at different times in my business.

If any of these sound like you, you will absolutely love our topic today and my guest Patty Block, who so calmly and methodically makes this topic simple to understand.

Patty and I clarify:

  1. Exactly what Cash flow is and isn’t,
  2. How to know if you have a problem, then
  3. Ways to get control of cash flow in your business (and finally sleep well at night!).

And because Patty and I are both passionate about making it easy for you to take action THIS WEEK, we include actions steps for to implement this week so you’ll feel confident and whipping those finances into shape like a total boss!

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below.
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3 Ways to Get Control Of Your Cash Flow

Our guest expert, Patty Block helps women in service businesses. In everything, she values relationships above all. So when working with clients, Patty takes a holistic view. She helps them with financial strategies, implementation, pricing, cash flow, talking to their accountant, and different models and plans used to grow their business.

In her work, she finds that a lot of people overlook cash flow because it scares them. Instead, they leave all that to their accountant who usually uses language they don’t really know. If you don’t try to understand and figure out your cash flow, how will you know you have a problem coming up that can compromise your business?

The intention at the end of the day is for you to take control of your finances. Your cash flow will become something you’re calm, happy, and proud of rather than a stressor that sits at the back of your mind all the time.

Let’s start by making the distinction between cash flow and being profitable.

Being profitable means having enough money after paying all your bills that you can reinvest in your business by getting new equipment or hiring another person. Or, you could take it for yourself and live the kind of lifestyle you want! That’s profitable, right?

Cash flow is less about having the money and more about the timing. If you have money in the bank but not the week before you need to process your payroll or pay your vendors, that’s a cash flow problem. It’s about having money when you need it and managing how it flows in and out of your business.

I love this quote from Patty as it is a real reality check.

As business owners, it’s our job to worry about money.

It is YOUR responsibility

You will never stop worrying about money. What you have to do to worry less is to know what to look for, watch out for red flags, identify obstacles, and how you can deal with these things.

Patty finds that the more she teaches her clients about how to handle their cash, they become more relaxed, confident, and the more they can focus on other areas.

It’s actually empowering to accept that responsibility and make it your obsession.

Things that can get in the way from mastering cash flow

Number one thing is Fear. Numbers aren’t your thing. You aren’t good at maths. You don’t understand all the language, the jargon, the accounting. Sometimes we get too busy and gravitate instead to where we’re comfortable.

This is why it’s very helpful to have someone who can help you figure out the ins and outs of money, timing, and how you can change it.

I have Bazza da Bookkeeper for that, who creates cash flow forecasts for me.

Bazza means I can sleep better at night!

Case Study: Patty had a client, let’s call her Sally, who didn’t know what a cash flow issue was even though she was running a successful and profitable business. She had eight employees paid every two weeks so not having the money at the right time kept her up. Her bad credit record meant she couldn’t borrow money to fill these needs, resulting in missing bills and ruining relationships with her vendors.

These were red flags she had a cash-flow problem in her business and if not addressed, her business (and sanity) would always be at risk.

“What happens when you ignore these red flags?”

There are always consequences you have to face. Unsteady revenue results in a tremendous amount of emotional stress and it keeps you from being able to focus on really positive aspects of your business.

Trouble managing your cash flow doesn’t make you a bad business person. It just means this is an area you haven’t paid attention to. You just need to place some procedures around that.

Three main areas that affect cash flow

  1. Pricing Working with women business owners, Patty found that women tend to undervalue ourselves and we underprice. There is no rationale. A lot of us say that we price within what the market can bear but the truth is, no one really knows that. Each market is different. Price appropriately and the right customers will come to you.If you need help with this, check out The Attract Your Tribe program. An important module in this program “Package For Profit” includes an expense and break-even calculator for determining pricing and sales goals, plus how to package and price your programs.
  1. Seasons and Cycles

In THE USA (Patty’s home) November and December are slow for service companies because it’s the holidays. People already spent their money, so they’re less likely to invest in the spring. Then it picks up again and drops around summer when the kids are on summer vacation. That’s specific to the US, but the point is that there are patterns and trends you can anticipate when it comes to your cash flow.

In Australia December is also slow and January can be difficult to get people’s attention because us Aussies continue to chill-out in the summer 🙂 One thing that really comes up and bites people are tax payments, so anticipate that as well.

Launch Models Online can also cause cash flow problems A lot of online businesses have a launch model. At launch, there could be a generous amount of money. But take note that the cash you have right now may not last you long enough. You need to be able to foresee when you need to start making more money. Safety nets are also important.

  1. Profitability This is the money you have left after paying the bills. This is money you can choose to keep in your business, to take for yourself, etc. The point is for you to have a choice what to do with it. If you’re not profitable, you have no choices.

You need to be able to strike a balance, set expectations, and what you want to achieve in your business. While we all want to grow our companies in a way that would be meaningful to us and those we can help, we also want to make money. If you’re not charging enough, you’re not going to be profitable.

”If your business is always only at break even, what’s the point?”

One thing I love saying is…

A lot of people want a million-dollar business, but how much of that is actually going into your pocket so you can have the lifestyle you want? There are people with businesses that have a much lower revenue but higher take-home. Think about that when growing your business.

Three Ways To Get Control of Your Cash Flow THIS WEEK

You need to be serious about invoices, when you expect payment, and then having a collections process. Invoices should always be accurate and sent to the right place or email address. The goal is to get paid as quickly as possible in full.

One of Patty’s clients implemented “Collections Monday”. Monday because you want them to start the week with you in mind. Why? If you call them on a Friday afternoon, chances are they aren’t going to take action.

Every Monday, the client printed out a report of who owed her money and started sending friendly, proactive emails. She then followed up 10 days after the invoice, 20 days, and 30 days after. After a few months, they found that they no longer have to make calls. Her clients have been trained to pay on time because they know you’re paying attention. A lot of clients think “Well, they haven’t invoiced me”.

Now, they don’t have an excuse! I love this idea and now, challenge you to implement what I now do in my business: MONEY MONDAYS

Pay the money you owe as slowly as possible without damaging relationships

You aren’t not paying them. You just pay them on a schedule. Prioritize what needs to be paid first. As an employer, you will want to prioritize paying your employees and contractors. Take a look at your cash flow and determine when you can pay your bills and set a schedule for it. In my experience (and Patty’s) a lot of women want to pay bills as quickly as possible because they pride themselves in paying immediately and on time. Many think that paying late would have people regard them as irresponsible. But you ARE being responsible, to yourself.

Be very wise and conservative in your use of cash

Collect it quickly, spend it slowly, and determine what’s need-to-have and want-to-have. If you need to hire or contract work, or upgrade to new equipment, prioritize expenses for that and fit it into a cash flow analysis. There’s a tool that Patty uses for her clients that helps them monitor their cash. By looking at it that way, you can make very wise decisions on how you use your cash.

I get Bazza da Bookkeeper to use a simple spreadsheet to forecast cashflow. It doesn’t need to be rocket science.

Part of understanding the cash cycle is  having a good handle on this cash in and out. It gives you confidence and allows you to make good decisions without playing the guessing game.

A Gift From Patty

Patty has an ebook that you can download on her site, theblockgroup.net.

The ebook helps you look at three main areas: finance, operations, and planning. It guides you as you analyze what’s working in your company, some of the early-warning signs, how to address growing issues, and provides you with a framework so you can understand the sources of stress in your business. She also has a pretty robust blog and you’re more than welcome to use all of the resources available.

I’d love to hear your tips, ah-ha’s and questions. Leave a comment down below.

And if you have a friend who wakes in the early hours, worrying about cash flow, please pass this post to them.

Patty’s Bio

Patty Block, President and Founder of The Block Group, has approached each step in her career with an entrepreneurial spirit: from successfully operating a business as an independent lobbyist and political consultant; to serving as both the Legislative Coordinator and the Charitable Foundation Director for First Interstate Bank of Texas; to adeptly filling multiple leadership roles at The Awty International School, including Director of Operations, Development and External Affairs.

Patty established The Block Group in 2006 to bring together the people, resources and ideas that build results. The Block Group brings a unique perspective to the complex issues that confront women business owners, serving as a trusted advisor with fresh eyes and new ideas — turning roadblocks into building blocks​ for women-owned businesses.

Clients often refer to Patty as their “business therapist” and “secret weapon” because she forms strong relationships, understands and refines their company’s internal workings, and serves as a strategic sounding board. Clients find working with Patty enjoyable, inspiring and enlightening, and they experience direct benefits on a daily basis.

Links and Resources Mentioned

Patty’s website: https://theblockgroup.net/

Patty’s Gift: https://theblockgroup.net/en/road-to-results

The Attract Your Tribe Program

Read The Transcript Here

Janet Beckers: Hello, everybody. Janet Beckers here, and it’s great to welcome you today because we’re going to be talking about a topic that every single business owner at some stage will wake up in the middle of the night thinking about. And in fact, it’s something that is present all the time, and it is the one thing that can absolutely kill a business even if it is a multi, multi-million dollar business. It is the one thing that can kill a huge business, and it can kill a startup.

So we’re going to be talking about cash flow, and it’s also the one thing that a lot of people, as soon as you say that word, they’ll go and hide and they don’t want to talk about it. So I’ve got a really wonderful guest with me today who has a beautiful, systematic way of being able to help you to take control over this and in a lovely, kind of methodical way so that you will have some action points that you can do straight away in your business this week. So wonderful to welcome you here, Patty.

Patty Block: Thank you. I’m delighted to join you.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. So Patty and I were introduced to each other through a beautiful friend of mine, Kathy Goughenour, who also has been a guest here on Romance Your Tribe Radio in one of our episodes talking about virtual assistants and also about how she was able to sell tickets to a pajama party for up to $1,000 each. So Kathy, when I was talking to Kathy, she said, “You have got to meet Patty. I just absolutely love this woman, and I know that your subscribers, your listeners, are absolutely going to love her too.” So it’s great to welcome you.

So Patty, I’m going to just hand over to you to just talk about yourself, so can you share with us who it is that you serve and how is it that you do that?

Patty Block: Yes. And thank you for the opportunity. So I work with women business owners in service companies. So I work with a lot of law firms, CPA firms that are woman-owned and operated, lots of consulting firms. They all offer service. I have several in the elder care industry, which is booming. And the way I met Kathy, our mutual friend, is because I’ve expanded my company across the United States and really have no geographic restrictions, so I can work with companies all over the world. And that was part of my goal was I’m very passionate about especially helping women entrepreneurs and wanting to expand my reach.

So I was introduced to Kathy as I expanded my company nationwide. I’m based in Houston, Texas, which if you ever get an opportunity to come visit Houston, it’s a great city. It’s the biggest small town in America and offers a lot of opportunity and a very warm, welcoming business community.

Janet Beckers: That’s a lovely, lovely way to put it. And as an aside, for people who are listening or watching or reading, is even though today we’re going to be talking about cash flow, I just wanted to point out something to you because one of the big ways that I help my clients to build their business is really focusing on relationships, really focusing on the relationships that are with your clients, with your potential clients, but also with people who are in your industry or people who you can see that can help you to be able to expand your reach, and how to do that in a way that people really, really happily introduce you.

And so Patty is a fantastic example of somebody who has done that really, really well. Because Patty was introduced to me by somebody who I know, and now I’m introducing her to you in a way that I’m really, really happy to do. And that all started because Patty very strategically decided that she was going to expand her business, and she was going to focus geographic area by geographic area and actually systematically looked at relationships.

So I want to congratulate Patty because she’s done something in a really classy way, in a very professional way that has opened up doors but also built relationships. And so I’d like you to watch what Patty’s doing as well because here is an example of somebody who does the stuff that I’m really passionate about helping people do. She’s done it really, really well. So I just want to acknowledge that, Patty.

So today. Today, when I was talking with Patty about all the different things that she does to help people, we were talking about what were the big things that really impacted the people who I worked with, and especially because you work with service-based businesses and primarily … I primarily work with women … is that cash flow, a lot of times people will just ignore it because it’s just, “You know what? It scares me.” And it’s not uncommon to have that up and down. So we thought what we would talk about today is why do you get into the problems with the cash flow, and how do you know that you’ve got a problem coming up that can actually wipe your whole business out or, at the very least, stop you sleeping at night?

So we’re going to look at those things. And then, importantly, we’re going to spend the bulk of our time today talking about the stuff that you can take control of. So we’re going to look at the three core areas that you need to focus on in order to be able to sleep at night, and I’ve asked Patty to leave us with some really good action points that you can do this week. So our intention at the end of today is that you are just going to crack out that whip, baby. You’re going to take control of these finances. Your cash flow is going to be something that you are calm and happy and proud of rather than it being that awful stressor that sits there at the back of your mind all the time.

So let’s get stuck into it, Patty.

Patty Block:  Wonderful. And thank you for the shout out about how I’ve expanded my business. I will tell you it’s been the best business decision I’ve made. And having several different strategies that I’m putting into place, it is fun and interesting, and I’m meeting the most wonderful people, including you.

Janet Beckers: That’s great. Yeah. Yeah, that’s fantastic. Yep, so to all of my clients that I’m teaching these techniques to, you see? It works.

Patty Block: It definitely works.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. Yeah. So let’s get started in with “Why the cash flow?” Over to you, Patty, about talking about … let’s, first of all, just work out why is this a problem, and how do people recognize if they actually do have a problem or not?

Patty Block: Okay. I’m going to start with making a distinction between cash flow and being profitable.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Patty Block: Those are two different things. And one of the problems is when you are working with an accountant, which is very necessary because you want to be in compliance, but the problem is that they have their own language. And a lot of times business owners don’t necessarily understand what their accountants are telling them, or if they do, they might not know what questions to ask. So sometimes I serve as a kind of interpreter for my clients. So let me make that distinction. Being profitable means that you have money at the end of every week or the end of every month that you can reinvest in your company, or you could pay yourself, or you could hire another person, or you could buy a new computer. That’s profitable, right?

But cash flow is different. You mentioned, Janet, the ups and downs. Well, that’s why we use the word flow because cash flows in and out of your business. And when I meet with a new client, and I ask them what their priorities are … when I work with a client, it’s a very holistic view, meaning I’m helping them with financial strategies and implementation around pricing, around cash flow, talking to their accountant. I’m also helping them with all the different aspects of operations from building their hiring and staffing model, use of technology, all the different pieces of that, and then strategic planning and business development and sales. And I’ve developed a series of tools designed for women that I teach them how to go through their business development process and actually close the sale.

So when I ask a new client what their top priorities are, no one ever says cash flow because we don’t think that way. And if you don’t have a good handle on your cash flow, there are a host of problems that come into play, including emotional stress. But cash flow, what makes it so distinct is that it’s about timing. So even if you have money in the bank, but you don’t have money the week before you need to make payroll, that’s a cash flow problem. It’s not necessarily a money or a profitability problem. It’s a timing problem.

Janet Beckers: Right. That is a great distinction. And you know what? I just can’t believe when you’ve said, Patty, that when you ask people what their top problems are that they don’t mention cash flow. It’s my number one obsession when I talk money in my business is the cash flow and the timing. How fascinating is that?

Patty Block: Yes. And I will tell you that that was surprising to me. I started this company in 2006, and I really expected that people would be asking for help with their cash flow. And it is an expertise that I have, so I was really excited about that. And then nobody considers that a top priority.

Janet Beckers: Wow.

Patty Block: But in my view, that’s the difference between a hobby and a business.

Janet Beckers: Absolutely. Yeah.

Patty Block: A hobby, you don’t worry about cash flow, in a business, you do.

Janet Beckers: There you go. Isn’t it interesting?

Patty Block: So let me share with you a story of a client of mine who had been in corporate America for 22 years and was now coming out and starting a business, and it’s become a global consulting business in the oil and gas industry. And one of our meetings, she was … starting a business can be very overwhelming, and I think that was part of what she was feeling. And so she asked me at the beginning of our meeting, “When can I stop worrying about money?” I said, “It is your job to worry about money.”

It is our jobs as business owners to worry about money and to be knowledgeable and to know what to look for, what are the warning signs, what are some of the things that get in our way, and then how do you deal with those things? And what I found is the more I teach my clients how to handle their cash differently, the more relaxed they are, the more confident, and the more they can focus on other areas.

Janet Beckers: You know what? That is … I love that line of, “As business owners, it is our job to worry about money.” Or if not worry about money, to be obsessed about money and to really take that responsibility that that’s what it is as the business owner. I love that. That’s a quotable quote, that one. “It is our job.” Because I know once I came to that reality, what I thought I might have been doing was delegating, but actually what I was doing was abdicating the worry and the responsibility of the money. That once I realized, “You know what? Actually, this is my job. I’m overseeing this,” all of a sudden, it’s empowering. It’s actually empowering to actually accept that responsibility and make it your obsession. So thank you for saying that line. Yeah, I hope that that’s resonated here with a few people who are watching.

Patty Block: Good. And I do mean that in the most positive sense. That is our job is to worry about money. Once you become very knowledgeable and get a good handle on what I call the cash cycle, it really does become easier. So let’s talk for a minute about things that get in the way. So you mentioned fear.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Patty Block: That’s a big one. So if you grew up, and in school you were told that numbers aren’t your thing, and you’re not very good in math. Or maybe you don’t understand all the language, the jargon, around accounting. That can be very intimidating. And really what we’re talking about are the dollars coming in and the dollars going out and the timing of that, and that is your cash cycle.

So some of the things that get in the way is the owner’s fear of learning, dealing with that, and trying to get a handle on it, but there are other issues that get in the way too. Sometimes we get so busy, and we tend to gravitate to where we’re comfortable. So if you’re really comfortable with marketing and sales, you’d much rather spend your time there-

Janet Beckers: Absolutely. Yeah.

Patty Block:  Than figuring out your cash cycle. And so sometimes it’s very helpful to have an adviser or an accountant or someone who can help you figure out the ins and outs of the money, the timing of that, and how you can change it. And I’m going to share with you today some tips on things you could change today.

Janet Beckers: Excellent. Excellent. And you know what, I could resonate with both of those, and especially the one that you’ve got to do with when you get busy, that this can be the thing that you tend to ignore, and you can’t do it. That’s when it comes back and bites you on the bum. So it’ll be really interesting to hear your tips because I recognize that a while ago that that was something that had a real risk of happening. And so I did exactly what you’ve said, and I’ve got Bazza the bookkeeper, who is actually acts as my CFO, my chief financial officer. So he’s more than a bookkeeper, so he manages all my cash flow, all of … we have our meetings, and when he really asks me the hard questions because it’s so important that you need somebody there who’s keeping an eye on it. Yeah. Yeah. And I thank the world for Bazza every day.

Well, let’s do that. Let’s go into what people can be doing, those really good tips people can be focusing on so that you too are in control, baby. So over to you, Patty.

Patty Block: Wonderful. So let me share with you one of my clients, we’ll call her Sally, when we started working together, she didn’t even know what a cash flow issue was. She had some of the warning signs. She was struggling to pay some of her bills. She was losing sleep over payroll. She had about eight employees, and they were paid every two weeks, so you could tell the interruption of her sleep cycle based on when payroll was due. And it wasn’t that she didn’t have the cash, but she sure did worry about that.

So there was a lot of early warning signs, and those were some of the things I could point out to her to say, “These are the red flags that are saying to me, ‘We need to analyze this and fix this.'” So for example, one of the things that you can do when you know what your cash cycle is, and you are a profitable company, you get to reinvest in your company. And you can make informed decisions like hiring an additional person, or buying that computer that you’ve been eyeing, or figuring out the strategic ways you want your company to grow.

So she had some red flags like sometimes struggling to pay bills and delaying them, which would then hurt her relationships with her vendors. Things like worrying so much and losing sleep over making payroll. She was embarrassed to admit that she didn’t understand that cycle and why the money wasn’t there when she needed it. She couldn’t borrow funds. The bank wouldn’t lend to her because her credit rating wasn’t that great and because she struggled with having money in the bank. So there were a lot of warning signs that I could identify.

At that point, we started talking about, “So what happens if you ignore this?” Because there are always consequences from the decisions you make and the decisions you choose not to make and, of course, not making a decision is making a decision.

Janet Beckers: Making a decision. Yeah.

Patty Block: Exactly. So that is what I see most commonly is people avoid the issue. They’re afraid, they’re intimidated, they’re embarrassed, and so they choose to avoid it.

So when we think about what happens with if you ignore the warning signs, you have unsteady revenue, you have a tremendous amount of emotional stress, and it keeps you from being able to focus on really positive aspects of your business like growing it or, in my case, expanding it. I had to be in a very, and am, in a very solid position to be able to focus my attention in other cities, other jurisdictions, and with a broader range of my audience.

Janet Beckers: I’m just thinking … so the thing that you’ve said, Patty, the example that you gave of your client is you would go, “Oh, well, you know …” if she’s having that problem where she’s getting that stress around coming up to time every fortnight when she’s got to pay her salaries, you would go, “Oh, well she’s actually not running the business that well. She’s not that switched on.” But the reality is this is a woman who has a business that is profitable enough that she pays eight employees, so that is a good business. That’s a well-run business if she is still paying those employees. So she must be getting good revenue coming through, and she’s got people who are staying with her, and so it’s a good, growing, positive business.

So it just goes to show that even if you’re looking at something and going, “Well, you know, this is somebody who’s switched on. They’ve really got their act together with their business,” that there is still this huge risk and that incredible stress. So that was a really great example to give because it’s demonstrating that if you’re not managing your cash flow, you’re having problems with it, it’s not necessarily a reflection that you are not a good business person. It just means that this is an area that you haven’t identified that you need some procedures around that.

Patty Block: That is an excellent point and spot on. And this is a company that has been in business for about eight years. They’re very successful. They’ve got money coming in. Again, it’s not a dollar problem, it’s a timing problem. And it’s fixable.

Janet Beckers: Right.

Patty Block: So you’re absolutely right. She’s a very savvy, smart business woman. But she’s also very, very busy and finds it hard to focus on the cash flow and the financial reports and the bookkeeping because it doesn’t interest her as much as the fun part of the business, which is providing the service and bringing in new clients.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. So should we look at what we could do about that, or is there something else you wanted to cover first?

Patty Block: No. Let me share with you, there are three main areas that I focus on first when I’m looking at the financial piece of any company. I always start by looking at the pricing because that’s the linchpin of everything. And what I find, as women, we tend to undervalue ourselves and we under price. And it’s universal. I’ve never met a woman business owner that I think is pricing appropriately.

Janet Beckers: Really?

Patty Block: So that is the first thing-

Janet Beckers: How interesting.

Patty Block: Yes. That’s the first thing I do is we start with looking at … we do an analysis of their pricing. What I find is that there often is no rationale. They have a sense of what they think the market can bear, which doesn’t even make sense to me because no one knows what the market can bear or even what the market is for that matter. And now we live in such a global community that it’s different in different areas of the world. So I happen to live in the United States in Texas. Our economy is booming in this particular state. In other states in the country, it’s not as vibrant as it is here in Texas, largely because of the oil and gas industry here. So pricing is a linchpin for everything.

The other thing that we spend quite a bit of time working on is the cash flow model, the analysis of that, so we can get a good handle, understand their cash cycle, and they can start to anticipate. So I’ll give you an example. With service companies, a lot of service companies have cycles according to the time of year. So here in the United States after November and December … because we have Thanksgiving and Christmas close together … because of that, the first quarter of every new year is often low in sales for a service company.

Janet Beckers: Right. Because people are spending their money on things-

Patty Block: Well, they’ve already spent their money.

Janet Beckers: Or food or entertainment.

Patty Block: Yes. They’ve already spent their money in the fall, and so come the spring, they’re less likely to invest in services. Then it picks up, and then we see another dip often in the summer because families are traveling and the kids are out of school. So it’s specific to the United States and to our school system and to our holidays. But it’s a pattern and a trend, and we can start to anticipate that. And you can plan your cash so that you are taking into account your tax liabilities at the same time as you’re planning for a potential low spot in your cash.

Janet Beckers: And actually, that’s the one that actually comes up and bites people a lot is the tax. In Australia, every quarter we have to pay what’s called our BAS, so it’s our … it’s how businesses collect tax for the government, basically. And that can be a surprise for a lot of people because they haven’t really taken into account that they have to pay a few thousand dollars if they have spent less that month than they have actually earned, and so that’s another cycle thing.

And just when you were talking about those cycles, I was also thinking about … because we have service-based industries, and we also have a lot of the people that I work with, because they will have an online business model, they might be using different ways of [inaudible 00:24:55] marketing that. So one of them may be using a launch model which will mean that you may do a lot of lead up to doing a launch which means that it’s very difficult for you to also be selling a lot because you might be focused on preparation, getting everything ready for marketing, so there can be a dip.

And then there can be, hopefully, this beautiful chunk of money that will come through from having done the launch, and a lot of people will be on a payment plan for that. And so it’s very easy for people after they’ve had a launch and brought in a lump sum of money to kind of relax and go, “Ah. I’ve got so much cash. This is just fantastic.” But the reality is that it’s only going to last you for a certain amount of time, and the people who are on payment plans, it may finish in four months, six months. So I do see that that can be a really big problem for people that may have an incredibly successful launch, but their business can get in a lot of trouble six months down the track-

Patty Block: That’s right.

Janet Beckers: Because of that. Yeah.

Patty Block: That’s right. Well, and in the United States, one of the issues we have is that a lot of accountants recommend to their clients that they use up their cash before the end of the year because it lowers their tax liability, and that’s because of the corporate structure and the way most of the companies here are organized. That is a very good tax strategy, but it is not a very good strategy when you go into the first quarter of the year with no money and then you have a dip in sales.

Janet Beckers: Yep. Good point.

Patty Block: So there has to be a balance of having some safety net, whether it’s line of credit or whether it’s money on which you’re going to pay tax, but you only pay it once, and then you keep that as your nest egg. So there are many different ways that you can have a safety net, but you must have a safety net.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. That’s a good call. And so that was number two. So number one was …

Patty Block: Pricing.

Janet Beckers: Pricing. Yep. Number one was pricing. The second one is looking at the seasons and the cycle that you have within your distinct business. So what’s number three?

Patty Block: Profitability.

Janet Beckers: Right.

Patty Block: And so as we mentioned at the beginning, profitability is about the money that you have left at the end of every month after you’ve paid your bills. And that’s money that you can choose to keep in your business, you can choose to invest it in your business, you can choose to take it for yourself, so you have choices. And if you are not a profitable company, you have no choices.

And again, this is about balance, about what you expect from your company, what your goals are, what you want to achieve with what you’re doing. And for everyone in business, part of our goal is to make money. It’s certainly not the only goal, but we want to make money, we want to be self-sufficient, we want to be able to grow our companies in the way that’s meaningful for us, and in many cases, we want to hire staff to help us. And so being profitable allows you to do that, and that’s about managing your money and, again, goes back to pricing. If you’re not charging enough, you’re not going to be profitable.

And so to give you an example, I worked with a company that had about $16 million in annual sales, and they broke even. They were not a profitable company.

Janet Beckers: Wow.

Patty Block: And that’s a lot of money in sales, and yet, that’s what they were spending every year as well.

Janet Beckers: Wow.

Patty Block: So they were a break-even company, so you have to … well, I have to ask the question, “What’s the point?”

Janet Beckers: Absolutely.

Patty Block: “Why are you working so hard if there’s no profit to show for that?”

Janet Beckers: Yeah. You know what? That brings back to a quote that I have actually, for a good year or so, I actually had it written on my computer. It was a girlfriend of mine that had told it to me which was, “Revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity.”

Patty Block: Ooh. That’s a good one.

Janet Beckers: So I just live by that one because a lot of times people will be going, “I’m going to have a million dollar business.” And I go, “Well, that means nothing if it’s a million dollar revenue. How much of that is actually going to be going into your pocket so you can have your lifestyle?” Because you can have a business with a much lower revenue, but you can be having a much higher take-home that you can actually get to use to fund the lifestyle that you want.

Patty Block: Exactly.

Janet Beckers: So that’s a great example, 16 million and just breaking even.

Patty Block: Right.

Janet Beckers: Ouch.

Patty Block: Yes. So let me give you some strategies-

Janet Beckers: Yeah, great.

Patty Block: That you can use… you could start using today.

Janet Beckers: Excellent.

Patty Block: There are three keys. Once you recognize and understand your cash cycle, and you recognize any red flags there might be, or things that are causing problems, once you do that, there are three things you can do that will improve your cash flow. The first is collect money that’s owed to you as fast as possible.

Janet Beckers: Yes. Great one.

Patty Block: It seems like common sense, right?

Janet Beckers: Yep.

Patty Block: I mean, it is common sense. And yet, I cannot tell you how many companies do not have a collections process. So they send out invoices, right?

Janet Beckers: Yes.

Patty Block: They send out invoices, but they don’t have a collections process. So they just kind of … it’s on a wing and a prayer they hope they get paid.

Janet Beckers: Absolutely. And even … not even sending out the invoices. My graphic designer, who I absolutely adore, a very small, small business … and as soon as I … if it’s a small business, we pay them as quickly as we can, but she can take months to invoice me for work. And I know she’s doing it for all of her clients, and yeah, so I will actually message her going, “Invoice me.”

Patty Block: That’s exactly right. So getting on an invoicing schedule … making sure your invoices are accurate, that they’re sent to the right place, the right email address, or if you’re mailing them … because, of course, the people who owe you money want to take as long as possible because that’s good for their cash flow.

Janet Beckers: Absolutely. Yeah.

Patty Block: So you need to be serious about sending invoices and about expecting payment when you’ve told them you expect it, and then having a collections process. So one of my clients, we started “Collections Monday,” and my feeling was she needed to put some structure around it so it was scheduled. And I will say that when the owner of the company contacts a client, they sit up and take notice.

Janet Beckers: Yeah.

Patty Block: So it’s okay if you delegate it to a bookkeeper or a CFO or someone else in your company, but they may not get action as quickly as you will if the owner of the company contacts the client. So that’s something to think about because the goal is to get paid on time as quickly as you can in full. So make sure your invoices are accurate, sent to the right person, and sent immediately.

Janet Beckers: Good.

Patty Block: So we do “Collections Monday,” and every Monday she would print a report of who owed her money, and she would start sending emails, very friendly, very proactive, emails. She didn’t wait until the money was due. We started 10 days after the invoice was sent, and then we did it 20 days and 30 days. Well, after a couple months of doing that, we didn’t have to make any calls 30 days later because what you’re doing is you’re training your clients to pay you and that you’re paying attention.

Janet Beckers: Honestly, that can be the one thing that makes a huge difference for a lot of businesses. I know it from just being on the other end of the person that’s going, “Well, they haven’t invoiced me. We can wait.”

Patty Block: That’s right.

Janet Beckers: Yeah, yeah.

Patty Block: That’s right.

Janet Beckers: That’s a brilliant one.

Patty Block: So that is something that you could put into place today, and you might call it “Collections Monday.” The reason we chose Monday is because we wanted to start the week with that in mind. That was top of mind.

Janet Beckers: I love it.

Patty Block: And it’s also a good way to catch your clients at the beginning of a week when they’re fresh from the weekend, and they’re ready to refocus. If you call somebody Friday afternoon, chances are they’re not going to take action.

Janet Beckers: Yeah, that’s a really good point. And can I just change it to … I love alliteration. So can we make it for everybody that’s here, I want you to let us know, let Patty and I know, are you having “Money Mondays”? That’s what I want to … We’ll have “Money Mondays.” I like the idea of that.

Patty Block: Excellent. I love it. That’s great. So the second key is to pay money to your vendors as slowly as possible without damaging your relationships. So I’ve seen many companies that pay bills the day they come in, and while I understand the idea behind it, that is not to your benefit. And the reason is because just like you have a priority for your business goals, for the projects you’re working on, there’s always a priority to things. There’s going to be a priority to what needs to be paid first.

For example, you will always pay your employees and your contractors first. Always. Because you don’t want to lose them, right? So keep that in mind. So if you pay bills that come in and pay them the same day, you might not have money left for payroll. So you need to prioritize your expenses and determine when to pay your bills. And I’m not implying that you pay them late, but pay them on a schedule.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. That’s a great point, and that’s what I get … Bazza the bookkeeper does that for me, and a lot of times I’ll be like, “Barry, it’s getting close to the line.” He’s going, “Nope, that’s okay. This is the priority. This one gets done first, this one gets done next.”

Patty Block: Exactly.

Janet Beckers: And a lot of women will want to pay people really, really quickly. They will feel really terrible about the thought that they … and they will take pride in how fast they can pay people. But exactly as you’re saying, Patty, as a business owner, that can actually be really irresponsible. And so that’s the … the third one, what is the third one?

Patty Block: The third one is about your use of cash. So you want to be very wise and conservative in using your cash. So in some ways you’re already doing that because you’re collecting it quickly, and you’re spending it slowly, but you have to determine what’s a need-to-have and what’s a want-to-have. So if you need to have freelancers, or designers, or video editors, then you need to prioritize the expense of that and fit it into a cash flow analysis. And that’s actually a tool that I use with my clients that I developed to help them monitor their cash.

So then when they say to me, “I’d really like to hire an additional person,” we estimate the salary, and I can plug it in to the analysis so we can see not only how that affects cash at the beginning but over time. “Can you really afford to do that?”

Janet Beckers: That’s a really handy tool.

Patty Block: Or what if you need to replace your computer, your monitors, or you need to get a laptop, or you want to set up a video studio, which is something that I did almost two years ago? Again, I wanted to invest in that, and it’s a priority as I was expanding my company, so it was plugging that expense in to see how it would affect cash. So then you could make very wise decisions in how you’re using your cash.

Janet Beckers: That’s brilliant. And I think, again, this is the one thing that I get … when I first started working with my … I call him my CFO because he’s so much more than Bazza the bookkeeper … is I needed to have some kind of tool so that I could see at a glance, and I could just look across in the forecast and go, “Oop, red. Oop, black. Okay, I’ve got to make some sales in this particular point.” And so it then becomes back to your responsibility as a business owner, doesn’t it, that if you know that cash flow, you know that forecast, you can have a look and go, “I’ve got to do something about some kind of promotional event in six weeks time,” which is powerful, rather than, “Ooh, what season is it?”

Patty Block: You know, that’s an excellent point. And the other thing I’ll mention is what if an employee comes to you and asks for a raise? You’ll want to give them a raise. They’re doing a good job, and maybe they deserve a raise, but you don’t know if you can afford it. So that’s a scenario that’s actually very common where then you feel caught off guard. And part of understanding the cash cycle and having a good handle on this cash in and out, it gives you confidence and allows you to make good decisions without playing the guessing game.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. That’s brilliant.

Patty Block: And so it’s really a very important aspect that you really can take action and get good results right away.

Janet Beckers: Yeah. That’s just … this has been so useful. It’s kind of crazy. You would think when it comes to cash flow accounting that that’s a really dry subject, but I get so excited talking about this stuff because even though I’m never going to be the person who is the person doing the bookkeeping because I absolutely hate doing any of that number crunching stuff, but I love the numbers. So with the first person that I ever contracted in my business before we even started making money was a bookkeeper to enter everything in so I knew how much I was losing so I could know when I had broken even and I knew when the money was coming in. It’s really empowering. It’s exciting.

So we’ve got to the end of our time, so just those last three points when it comes down to action, and this is what I want to challenge everybody here that is listening, watching, reading, however you are here, is those three points, which were number one was you send out your invoices and have a collection process. So I’m challenging you to have a “Money Monday” or a “Collections Monday,” but a “Money Monday,” I like the idea of that one, and make it so you have that focus and that you’re contacting people before things are even due, and do not let them go over. And you can do that in a really kind, respectful way.

Number two that you had there was, the opposite side of it is don’t be one of those people that prides yourself on how quickly you pay people. That’s what you do for your girlfriends that you pay them really fast, but when it’s in business, it’s irresponsible. So that was a really good point for you to bring up. So make sure that you’re paying, scheduling wisely. Don’t make people chase you out, but just doing it wisely.

And then that third one about just spending wisely as well. Don’t just see all the money in the bank and go, “Woo hoo. Staff party.” That just spending it wisely and in an informed way is incredibly empowering. If you can do those three things, that would be fantastic. And even better if you can come and share with us because one of the best thank yous that you can give Patty and I for spending our time and sharing this with you is to give us some feedback. So to come either leave a comment on the blog post, send us an email, just tell us what one change that you have made as a result of what Patty shared with you today is incredibly rewarding for both of us.

So for you, Patty, how can people get in contact with you, and any way that you can help them further?

Patty Block: You bet, and I’m always happy to meet new people and to visit with folks, certainly with business owners. So my website is theblockgroup.net, and that’s probably the best way to reach me is theblockgroup.net. And there are many, many free resources on my website. You can also contact me through LinkedIn, and it’s Patty with a Y. So Patty Block with a Y. And there is a downloadable e-book that is free that’s on my website, and you’re welcome to do that, and that also subscribes you to my newsletter list. So there are all kinds of free resources. I have a pretty robust blog, and I welcome you to use all of those resources, that’s what they’re there for.

Janet Beckers: That’s brilliant. And so the e-book, Patty, what’s that focus for people?

Patty Block: So when I’m working with a company, I look at three main areas, which is finance, operations, and planning, and the e-book takes each phase of that, and it helps you analyze what’s working in your company and what might not be-

Janet Beckers: Ah, brilliant.

Patty Block: Some of the early-warning signs, some of the ways that you can address issues that you may have realized are becoming problems, and it provides a framework so that you can understand the sources of stress in your business.

Janet Beckers: Ah, that’s brilliant. That sounds like a really good resource. So we’ll put some links to that on the blog post page where this podcast is, so if you’re over listening to this on iTunes or Google Play, wherever it is that you’re listening, just come over to romanceyourtribe.com, and it should have a link there anyway to this post, and I’ll have links there for you to be able to go and get that from Patty. And I’ll also put a few summary points and some sort of action challenges for you on that post as well so that you can go and take some action.

So thank you so much for your time today, Patty, I really … you can tell that Patty is good at what she does because hasn’t this been a beautiful, very systematic interview where you’ve given really good value in a very systematic way. I can tell that’s the way that you also work with your clients. It’s beautiful. So thank you so much for your time today, and thank you, everybody, for listening, and please, the best thing that you can do for us is take action this week, so that’s my challenge to you, baby. Okay, bye, everybody.

Patty Block: Thank you.

The 6 Reasons My First Business Failed (and my second one succeeded)

The 6 Reasons My First Business Failed (and my second one succeeded)

Vulnerability Alert!

This week’s episode is a very vulnerable one for me to share.

In fact, it’s taken me 12 years to share this lesson with you.

It’s been long enough after the fact that I can openly and transparently share with you why my first business failed.

Yep it’s taken me that long to recover from the crush to my confidence and enough success behind me now that I can look back with almost motherly affection for “Past Janet” who tried so hard and lost so much.

I never want you to make the same business mistakes I did, which is why I’m sharing the 6 reasons my first business failed (and my second one succeeded).

I also have a special gift for you today, so you don’t make mistakes #3 and #4.

The exact survey template I use in my exact business for you to copy and use immediately.

You can grab it here.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below.
Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

Show Notes

  • Vulnerability alert! Why it’s taken me 12 years to share these lessons with you
  • I share why I started my first business, an Internet Art Gallery that became the largest online art gallery in Australia…..and lost everything 🙁
  • How I tested my business concept in Business 1 and Business 2 and the lesson for you from both of these.
  • The embarrassing story of the greeting cards
  • What I spend tens of thousands of dollars on (and could have been replaced with a telephone)
  • The very unique way I did market research for my second business
  • My survey template you can have for free. You can get it here.
  • The danger of being cool
  • How I could easily have saved over $100K and 4 years.
  • Your Call To Action: Share your ah-ha’s below. This has been a vulnerable episode so I’d love to hear from you.

Action Points

  • Look at your current business – how can you test small?
  • Audit where you are spending your money – rate each expense against potential for ROI
  • Download my gift for you – the template of the customer survey I use, plus instructions on how to customise it.
  • Implement the survey template!
  • Join the Romance Your Tribe Facebook Group – you don’t need to do this alone
  • Congratulate yourself on taking action. Dip into the Celebration Box.
  • Share below your ah-ha’s from this lesson and also any tips other viewers may find useful.
  • If you loved this episode, I’ll be grateful if you can leave a review over on itunes so other people can discover this podcast too

Read The Transcript Here

Hello and welcome, Janet Beckers here. I have a very special episode of Romance Your Tribe Radio for you today. I’m going to be totally vulnerable with you. So be kind, Okay? I’m going to share with you the six reasons why my first business failed. Why it ended up making it that I lost every single cent that we had through that business and crushed my confidence for years? Why did that happen? And importantly, what lessons did I learn from that? That meant my second business succeeded almost straight from the gate, out of the gate, and has continued to grow. So that’s what I want to share with you today. Those 6 reasons that I can see why my business failed. The lessons I learned and what you can do so that you don’t make those same mistakes that I made.

Okay. So just very quickly the very first business I had was an Internet art gallery and I started that because at the time I was studying art, this is about 15, 16 years ago. I was studying art to keep me sane while my children were really little and I was living out in western New South Wales and I realised how difficult it was for artists to get an opportunity to exhibit their work. So that’s when I thought, you know what, artists need a way to get to be able to see their work everywhere because you can’t just wait for people to come out to Dubbo. Then, I was also aware about this newfangled thing called the Internet and I wasn’t, you know, I wasn’t really using it. I used e-mail. Thought that was pretty good.

And I was learning about the Internet in fact my current job at that time was actually having to help other people you know use the Internet, you know, to be able to with projects that we were doing. I didn’t know anything about it, we brought i a big specialist. So I’d heard about the Internet thought it was pretty fancy and I saw the two together and thought “I’ve got a business”. Hence, Indigo Art which ended up becoming the largest Internet art gallery in Australia at that time before I sold it. That was my first business, largest Internet art gallery in Australia. Sounds successful doesn’t it? It was a failure. So we’re going to look at why.

My second business, for this example, is Wonderful Web Women . When I started my company Niche Partners and Wonderful Web Women started off as a quest to find the most successful women in the world who had made their money on the Internet and share their stories with other women who were wanting to grow their businesses. That’s what Wonderful Web Women was and Romance Your Tribe, which is where my business has evolved to, grew out of Wonderful Web Women and it was successful right from the beginning. So we’re going to have a look now at the six reasons why the first business Indigo Art failed and really crushed my confidence and my bank account for a long long time? And then why Wonderful Web Women and ongoing Romance Your Tribe succeeded. So let’s get stuck into it. Please excuse me I can refer to my notes because I do not want to miss giving you any lessons at all. Okay.

Number one, I didn’t test my concept. I had this really great idea, I could see that artists didn’t have anywhere to exhibit their art work and I thought, you know what, the Internetm this is going to work. This is pretty cool. So on the basis of that I built a very elaborate business model I spent a long time thinking about everything, mapping in or out, creating something just truly truly totally cool and really creating getting elaborate software. Everything was Mickey Mickey Mouse and took a long time to build up you know I have little babies at the same time and you know what I didn’t test the market. I went straight to big. If I had tested the market I would have realized I had my business model wrong and we’re going to go into more detail about what that business model was and why it was wrong. But I would have worked that out quite quickly as it was it took me years to realize that the business model I had invested so much of my life into was never going to work never going to work. So I did not test the concept. In the second business Wonderful Web Women I tested the concept. Now I’m going to go into detail about how I came up with the business model and look at that in the next lessons. But what I did do is I tested it first I only launched for an eight week project. It was starting off for eight weeks.

I was just going to interview eight women and I had a method that was going to make it that I would get sales straight up and then I would build a male image straight up but I was only going to do it for eight women to see how it went. I didn’t go straight into building an elaborate membership site I didn’t go straight into programs into spending a fortune on websites. I just started with eight weeks it took off. I can tell you after eight weeks I thought wow this project has now become the whole business. So that was the lesson I learned so the question to you. Do you have a concept and then you’ve gone straight into planning out the whole thing the big vision and really putting all of them into place before you even put it out to the market. If you haven’t test the market go small first. See what the response is. You might be completely off the mark or you might be just slightly off but that’s slightly off. If you’re investing a lot of time and money can be enough to make it so it’s not going to work. So you could tweak it if you do that test first. That was number one.

Number two, which leads on from that, I spent money on all the wrong things. Now what I did is high with this big concept. No this is pre WordPress. So I went and spent a fortune getting a great website made getting very elaborate software made so that no people could not choose their work and then they can go frame and they can choose the frame and it would show them what they look like and then then the flight would be calculated depending on the frame the size of the artwork where the artist was where the person was getting it shipped to. All of this stuff really really elaborate stuff.

It cost me tens and tens and tens of thousands of dollars. Years of development I went through three developers because honestly I think I was a bit of a pain in the butt to be honest but you know I went there it was a huge investment and you know what. Every time I made a sale people said can you ring me up because I just got to talk to you to see if the artwork was what’s your artwork like. They wanted to be reassured. I got everything over the phone if I’d tested I would have known that. The other thing I did is I invested thousands of dollars getting really beautiful greeting cards made that featured these beautiful artworks on the site because I thought we’ll send that one with every artwork and I know I’ll go out and I will. You know people anybody who gets a gift or I’ll get a sandwich packets are these cards. These are so beautiful that people are just going to share them everywhere. It was really just going to my artist’s side of it it was not a business decision it was an artistic decision. The same reason with business cards you know people will make these beautiful beautiful business cards and they’re not necessarily going anywhere to keep them out. So that was a big mistake I won’t spend a lot of money on things that were not going to work. So in the second business what was the lesson I learned. I did not spend money on things unless I knew it was absolutely essential and I did my research to find out it was the most cost effective way to do it.

So while the time I sort of Wonderful Web Women were oppressed was not really being used it was just been used for blogs but not for membership sites. So I found out what membership sites software I wanted to do. I was very nice to my husband who I talked to helping me learn how to put it all together so we could both do it and um and I went and sold heaps of stuff on ebay went around our house and just sold stuff on Ebay so that I got the thousand dollars that I needed to start it up and that’s what I did. There were no no business cards and get business cards for you because there were none and nothing was elaborate. So I just built up and Hill you know and every time I could see that I needed an investment that’s what I would really really look at it. Now now I’m also very strict. You know I had a book keeper before I even had any income because I wanted to know exactly where my expenses were going how my cash flow was and making sure that I wasn’t spending before I had it. So yeah that’s my my thing. My action point for you is have a limit where you’re spending your money. Are you going for example. Well Janet uses Infusionsoft all the big guns using FusionSoft. Sure it’s hundreds of dollars a month. I’m going to I’m going to use that from the beginning even before I’ve got a customer.

This is a really typical one I’m giving you as an example you know that’s one of the things I do with my clients as we work out the cheapest way for you to get started so you can test your concept then you’ll know if it’s going to be worthwhile you spending money on the top of the range you don’t need to. We just I used PayPal PayPal and a Weber was what I used for years and years and years we did hundreds of thousands of dollars through Paypal before we got proper shopping cart. So starting small. Where are you spending your money. Let’s look at the next one.

Now lesson number three, why my first business failed and my second one succeeded. This was the death knoll I got my target market all wrong. I thought that my target market was the artists now the model was the artist paid me 50 bucks and that would get all of their artworks up on the site and then when I made a sale I would get 40 percent commission. Now that’s the standard commission. It was then for art galleries to take off. When they sold out for artists like retail retail other art galleries are shops they retail shops so that was their markup. So I used exactly the same model but you know what the artists were not my target markets my target market were the people who were going to buy the artwork. Like do you know I had this whole thing I would build it they will come. Now that was a huge mistake. I confused my suppliers with my customers. This was the death knell of that business.

You know I made a huge mistake I made that mistake and I didn’t really realize it until I was broke and it wasn’t until then that I started listening to what my clients wanted and it was too late by then know I had already lost the money and you know I’d already lost the energy and the enthusiasm for the business. So this was a big one. Now with the second one I did not make this mistake again. In fact I was probably cautious for a long time because I was not making this mistake again. So the very first thing that I spent a lot of time to competitor research with my first business I was too soon. They weren’t any help. Every time I got anybody that started up online as a competitor I would ring them up and thank them because nobody ever thought about buying out on the Internet there were too many hurdles to it. So you know I started too early but I was being really really careful when I started wonderful Web and I spent a lot of time doing competitor research. I also and this is a classic is this is pre Facebook so I didn’t really have anywhere to be able to find my target market. So my target market was also at these events that I was going to learn how to market online. I was going to those events where there’s lots of speakers talking about how they built their business on the Internet. And my target market was they’re getting frustrated because there weren’t any checks on stage and wanted to know you know what the win was with this concept how did they do this how did they do it differently.

And so that’s where my target market was and where do you think my target market was when they were at these events. Well I can tell you at lunchtime they were all lined up in the big long line trying to get into the women’s toilets and of course along that line they would be stopping and they’d be talking to each other. So I was not making that mistake again and I had no pride. So I went along that a line of women who were queued up for ages a captive audience with my MP 3 recorder because I didn’t even have a phone back then and I went along and recorded them saying tell me what’s your biggest frustration when it comes to building your business on the internet. If I could find the most successful women in the world what would you like me to ask them. So I did that for months after months after months all of these events I knew my market exceptionally well I knew who my target market was. I knew that there was a demand. So that’s why when the first business went Wonderful Web Women took off. Man did it go well. Okay. So my question to you have you got the right target markets. Have you really got the right target market or if you’ve got the people who you think need you but are they going to spend the money. Are they hungry enough or what you can help help them with.

Now this is one of the things that I do with my programs in fact I’ve developed a really unique system called profitable Avatar Cortright that gets you super clear on your four Avatar types and will help and you will know exactly which ones are the most profitable and what to offer them. Now every time I take people through this particular system they have huge ahas and can restructure their business and their marketing is so much more spot on. Ain’t nobody gonna make that mistake again. Okay so that’s my question to you. Have you got the right time. Michael I make the third mistake that was the third my fourth mistake that I made is I assumed that I knew what my real customers wanted and what they didn’t want. You know I really did not do any research on the people who were buying. I thought I had you know I did you know a bit of you know looking at you know reports that had been done on the state of art in Australia blah blah blah but it was really superficial stuff and I was really just looking for information that reinforce that I had a good idea. I was very very biased. If I had taken the time to really get to know them I would have had a lot of great insights. I didn’t start doing that until about the third year in when I started going out to the people who buy art. I started going out to companies that buy art you know that would by buying art so for hotels and things wasn’t till then that I started talking to them and realise you know this what I’ve set up is not going to make life easy.

You know one of the things I did discover at the end was people were really interested in renting out especially if they were doing up their homes and renting their art in order to be able to their homes to sell and they either moved or they didn’t end up selling. They would buy their work because they’ve got to live with it. They wanted it so it was that was right near the end when I found that that was that actually started to work. So there you go that’s an idea for you if you’re in that market that actually back then worked really really well by that stage though I had discovered that there were much easy ways to make money online and so I sold the business and with that idea to be able to give to the next person who promptly ran it into the ground. Okay so with me I know I told you what I’d already done that research there in the toilets and what I also do is I continually see these people join my mailing list. I had a quick survey that asked them what their biggest frustrations were. I continue to survey my email list at least once per year. Really good idea on what it is that are their issues and responded to that. That’s how I knew that after about eight weeks my clients want to know not just from all of these women who I’d been interviewing they want to know how I did it how did I manage to do that in eight weeks.

So I developed my first two thousand dollar program because I listened to what my clients wanted the Romance Your Tribe program and my Romance Your Tribe’s system has come specifically from listening to my clients who were saying I want to know step by step how to do what you do generally in the way that you do it. It’s only come from listening to clients and that’s why my business has changed quite a bit over the years. It’s always been in response to what my clients want. So my question to you is are you continuing to survey your clients are you listening to them. Are you analyzing then what they’re asking for and to see if this fits in with what you can be doing. Is your market changing. Are you on top of it. How connected are you to your customers and your potential customers. So this is one of the things that I do with my clients in my Attracta tried coaching programs is you know we’re going to get super clear and really getting to know your target market so that you know that you will hear saying things like it’s like you’re in my mind you know exactly what I’m thinking. It’s good you sure. So yeah that’s that has been core to the success of Wonderful Web Women and then Romance Your Tribe absolutely core because that I’m not making that mistake again. Now let’s look at what else have I got here in my notes. Two more things that I did wrong. Okay. Now you might do this. This is this didn’t make the business fail but it made me not have the resilience to continue which ultimately leads to failing is I tied my personal identity to my business identity. Now I’m not talking about personal branding here I’m talking about self worth.

So I stuck with a business that my if I had been stepping back and not seeing my identity as being related to how successful business was I would have recognized that the business was not working and I would have approached it in a much more detached logical way to see why but at the time I was cool you know I was this Jannat that was really arty and had this really really awesome online business to do with it. I mean that’s very very affirming and it was a core part of my ego. Hey I told you I was going to be transparent and vulnerable here. But when the business didn’t work if I was going to be tying my identity and my super coolness with that business when the business didn’t work who was I. My confidence took such a serious serious blow. And I’m a very very persistent resilient person so I kept on going but if I didn’t have so much ego and identity attached to that I would have been able to be detached and make wise decisions. So what lessons did I learn from that. Now with my business. Sure it’s a it’s a personal brand so I am still very associated with it. But I nailed it my system my models are the star. That’s why this is Romance Your Tribe not Janet Beckers because it is my Romance Your Tribe model that is get success for people. I stand back and treat it like an experiment. I mean truly it is still very much a core part of who I am. But the business success or failure is not my success or failure not my self worth. If something doesn’t work well it means that I can look at it dispassionately and see why and change it.

You know you may not realise that for example my cool cats video Academy which has been responsible for helping hundreds of people to be able to create weight you know great videos get confident you know it’s a successful program. When I first launched it zero sales but because I could look up as an experiment and dispassionately I was then able to see what went wrong with the marketing tweak it and then it took off. So you can’t do that if you’ve got so much of your ego that you’re just going to go hide underneath the doona because it’s all about you. So my question to you is how much are you tying your self-worth to your business how much of your ego is associated with saying what it is that you do in your business. Because this is going to make it very very difficult for you to make the tough decisions in your business and you know what if that’s happening and you put your confidence has been crushed. It’s okay it’s okay. That’s a core part that I do in my programs is all that mindset stuff because I know at what point in the progress in your business certain things are going to come up and there’s ways around that there’s ways around that. So you know be kind to yourself and step back and the last one.

Number six is, you know, that I did it all on my own. What a crazy slow way to do it. You know I did a one day workshop that was run from the local Business Enterprise Center on how do business plan. That’s the training that I had for starting up and then I just try to work out everything else myself you know about branding about going online about marketing and all of that sort of stuff no wonder I made so many mistakes. No wonder I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of poor or poorly invested money and at least 6 years of really hard work that could have been spent on something that was making me money if I had got a mentor. If I had invested in coaching programmes or in products that were going to help me specifically learn the thing that I needed to do I would have saved myself a lot of money and a lot of time I would be a lot further ahead now. Then I would have been a lot less wise of course. But you know now. So what did I do in the second business. Right from the very beginning I identified where were the gaps in my knowledge and my skills and then I sought out who was the best person who knew how to do that and I paid them. I paid for programs to get coaching. I paid for people who could help me on very specific technical things. I paid or I did contra’s for things that I knew that I needed to help with and so you know that made the big difference because I knew that if I had to try to work it all out myself it was going to be a really really slow path and it was going to cost me more in the long run.

So now you know I spend thousands of dollars every year sometimes some years tens of thousands of dollars on mentoring on coaching in purchasing programs for me to master a specific technique on programs that I’ve got to do or mentors and I’ve got to do with my mindset and keeping me strong and with my self development I don’t see those as you know as luxuries these are absolute necessities for me to be able to move faster so but they’re all wisely chosen. It’s not just on anything. There always are things that I need but I continue to invest in that because I know the fastest way for me to get from A to B is to find somebody who’s already gone there and make the mistakes already and can show me the shortcuts. So that’s my question to you. You know are you just just see if I’ve made my notes here yet. Are you doing that are you going to workshops are you finding the people who can help you or are you trying to do it all on your own telling yourself that you know this is the cheaper way to do it. Because up until now it doesn’t it is not cheap in the long run it truly does not. Yes so they were the six made mistakes that I made that made that my first business failed and my second business took off straight away. Like within eight weeks of launching Wonderful Web Women I had already replaced my previous 12 months income. I had already had a list of thousands of people I had already sold this program that people were asking for. I had already sold memberships to something when people sign into the membership area. There was nothing there yet because I was still just testing to see if it worked right out.

You know I had won an award for best membership site in the first eight weeks I had been in I had people contacting me from around the world asking me to coach them. I didnt even know what coaching was all within eight weeks because I took those lessons from that first felde business and these six lessons and I did those changes just share with you. So it makes a huge difference. So now let’s just do a recap on what were those lessons and what can we do. So no one is test your concept starts small. Don’t waste your time using a lot of energy and a lot of money building up to big business unless you’ve actually tested that you’ve got the right business model and you’ve got the right marketing. Number to be super careful with your money don’t spend it on frivolous things that aren’t going to result in you getting sales. So when you’re starting out make sure that everything that you spend is actually going to result in you making money faster or at least testing your concept faster so you fail faster and move on. So be very very careful with your money and keep track of that market research. Absolutely do not scrimp on doing your market research and you compare it to research. You need to know that you know your market not before. Keep on asking your customers keep on not just doing the market research once continue to do that. Keep on listening. Keep adapting. Otherwise you will be left behind. If you’re not changing and adapting with your clients and just staying stagnant you’re actually falling behind.

Number five Trichet this is not an experiment or experiment that you care about but treat it as an experiment so that your ego is not so wrapped up in what your business is. You can and you are in your business if you treat it like a fun experiment and Number Six is short cut short cut the heartache and loss of money by getting mentoring and finding a community now that’s where I can help you. You can check out the free training that I’ve got you can come and join our romantical tribe free Facebook group. You can come and join me as as I’m as a paid mentor as part of my programs in the writing styles in our attract your tribe and any other programs that I have developed probably by the time you’re watching this so you know make sure that you’re going to be making the most of resources that are available to you. Whether that is short cutting through paid coaching and mentoring or whether you’re at least going to be taking part in what kind of community has been around so you can tap into other people to help you as well. And so I’ve got great resources to help you to do that. So do it just make the most of all of the opportunities that you’ve got to short cut your your success because you know what you do not have to be on your own. You don’t have to be making mistakes on your own and there are people here that are going to help you. So that’s my six reasons why my first business failed and why my second business succeeded.

And I do hope that this has helped you to be able to make sure that your business is not going to have to go through that heartache and you are going to be able to keep those goals and create that business that’s going to make a difference in your life and the lives of the people who you help create. As always please I’d love to hear from you. This has been a particularly vulnerable episode for medical to create what I would truly appreciate if you would take some time to give me some feedback and tell me a ahas that you’ve had from what I’ve shared with you today. Okay. Bye!

6 Business Mistakes I’ll Never Make Again – And What To Do Instead

6 Business Mistakes I’ll Never Make Again – And What To Do Instead

When I started my first business I knew absolutely nothing about business. And even more dangerously, I didn’t know that I didn’t know!

It was a cascade of business mistakes just waiting to happen.

I thought I had a brilliant idea: sell art online so rural Australian artists could exhibit their art worldwide. I would make a commission on the thousands of original artworks I would sell because, like, the internet is a licence to print money right?).


Against the odds, my business, Indigo Art,  ended up becoming the largest art gallery in Australia. Sounds successful, right?


I’m proof you can create something amazingly successful when judged by one measure (size) yet size doesn’t really matter if that is not the true measure of success (profit).

I ended up losing every single cent and my confidence was crushed.

In this podcast I shared in humbling honesty the journey of establishing my first business Indigo Art, the reasons my first business failed and why my second business succeeded. I go into the story behind each lesson and share some real ah’ha’s for you over there.

Today, I’ll boil my 4 years of struggle and loss into a summary of the 6 business mistakes I made in my first business, and then share with you what I did instead when I launched my second business, Wonderful Web Women. My hope is you don’t make the same mistakes I did and your journey to success is faster and far less painful than mine.

OK let’s go!

6 Business Mistakes I Made in my first business – and what to do instead

1. I Didn’t Test My Concept

When I came up with the idea for Indigo Art, I thought it was a great idea that was definitely going to take off, so I lunged straight into creating an elaborate business model. I didn’t have any evidence the business would actually work, I was just certain it would because, really, it was such a cool idea!

So I went big. I spent a lot of money on things I felt I needed for the business to work and an amazing amount of time and energy creating what I was sure was to become an Art Empire.

The reality is, the business model I invested so much of my life into was never going to work. I realized that too late.

What To Do Instead: Test Small

Do you have a big concept that you have all planned out? Before spending a lot of money on it, test small. Find the cheapest, fastest way you could start out. You might be completely off mark or you may just be slightly off the mark. When you test, then you can tweak the model to be  something that will work.

For my second business, Wonderful Web Women, I tested my concept  of finding and interviewing the most successful women who had built their businesses online by simply doing an eight week series of interviews.

I interviewed eight women on live teleseminars, and offered paid access to the recordings and transcripts to test the model. I didn’t make an elaborate membership site or website.

Wonderful Web Women was a success straight out of the gate, and only when I saw this short test worked, did I start to really build on my business model.

Here’s a screen grab I found on Way Back Machine of Wonderful Web Women when I first launched. It’s pretty long so click the image to open the full page in a separate tab.

2. I spent money on all the wrong things

First, I spent money on 5,000 custom designed greeting cards. 1000 each of five designs featuring different artworks. How on Earth was that a good investment for a startup? I thought it was a good idea because it appealed to the artist in me, not the business woman. As expected, 12 years after selling that business, I STILL have hundreds, if not thousands, of those cards which I still use for every gift I give!

Second, I spent tens of thousands of dollars commissioning fancy software. This was pre-Wordpress so there is probably a free app to do what it could now. The software allowed a potential customer to choose an artwork, then choose the perfect frame, then calculate the freight to wherever they were in the world from wherever the artwork was in Australia, calculating the size with the frame.

That’s only a fraction of what this complicated software could do. And I commissioned three different developers until I was happy with the result. (yep, if you have a web agency, don’t you wish I was your customer back then!).

After the customer went through the app, every customer still asked me to get on the phone with them to get my reassurance that the artwork was a good one.

It wasn’t a wise decision. Investment in custom software should only ever happen if the concept is tested and you know you will get a return on your investment.

Here’s an image I found on WayBack Machine of the home page of Indigo Art.

One positive did come from this. I know a LOT about technology and how stuff works. I may struggle with my TV remote but I quickly grasp how new software works and can simplify things easily for my clients. I also will never, ever judge anyone who has invested too much in the wrong technology and finds themselves overwhelmed by geek stuff.

What To Do Instead: Spend efficiently

For my new business, I learned to not spend money on things that weren’t completely efficient. I didn’t have any business cards until years into the business. To fund my business, I went around the house and found things I could sell on eBay to pay for web site software.

I took baby steps and grew the business from that. One important thing I did when starting Wonderful Web Women was ensure every cent was measured and put accounting first. I had a bookkeeper before I even had an income, making sure I wasn’t spending money before I had it.

My advice to you, is work out the cheapest way for you to get started so you can test your concept then invest on top-notch things only after you are on track for success.

3. I Got My Target Market Totally Wrong

This was a huge business mistake.

We’re talking death knoll of a business.

I thought I knew who my Ideal Client was. I thought they were the artists. I thought it was the artists who were just like me. People who were frustrated because they didn’t have a way to reach buyers, especially if they weren’t represented by a gallery and even more so if they lived in rural areas without an opportunity to be seen.

So my model was to charge them $50 to add their artworks to the website and then charge 40% commission on any art I sold. This is the same rate that traditional galleries charged as commission.

Can you see the problem here?

I thought my suppliers were my customers when my real customers were people who were actually going to buy the art. The artists were just my suppliers.

I didn’t realise what a huge mistake I had made until I was broke.

When I knew how I could fix it, I had already lost the energy to invest in the business.

What To Do Instead: Do a lot of research

I spent a lot of time doing competitor research and customer research while working on my second business. I needed to know how other people were already doing what I wanted to do.

I had started attending every event I could where multiple speakers shared how they made money on the internet. I was there to learn, but I quickly found that my target market was also there.

I soon saw these events were dominated by male speakers and the women in the audience were asking “Where are all the successful women?”

I saw the really long lines for the women’s toilet at lunch times at these events and I saw an opportunity. I had a captive audience of my target market!

I literally did my market research in the toilets. While we waited, I talked to them about what they wanted to know about becoming successful on the internet. I asked them what they would want to ask women who successfully made money on the internet if I interviewed them.

As a result, I knew my target market very well.

Here’s an easier way than hanging out in the loos.

You can swipe my survey template I use to research customer needs now.

For market research, I have this tool called the Profitable Avatar Quadrant. It gets you super clear on your four customer avatar types and helps you determine which one is the most profitable. Every time I get someone through this system, they come out with a better understanding of their target market and how to approach them.

I introduce The Profitable Avatar Quadrant over here in this free online workshop.

4. I Assumed I Knew What My Real Customers Wanted (and didn’t want)

I thought I had done great market research but I was really just looking for data that would support my idea. Have you done this?

For example, I read reports on the art industry. This did give me some great insights into things such as “people want to hear the story of the artist”. But what I read really focused on the frustrations artists had with getting their art seen. I was very, very biased.

If I took the time to do thorough research into the buyers of art, I would have been much clearer on what they really wanted and a business model that would have been far more successful from the start.

Once I did start listening to my market I discovered there was an untapped demand for top quality, original artwork people could RENT to style their homes when selling them, and for offices to create an environment of quality, without the price tag.

If I had continued in that business I would have made that my focus. I had tested the concept (see I was starting to learn) and it worked. But by then I had discovered a much easier way to build a business on the Internet (information products) and so gave the idea to the the new owner when I sold Ingo Art. They ignored the concept unfortunately so it’s no surprise the business didn’t last long!.

What To Do Instead: Ask them what they want

As I mentioned earlier, I did my market research in the toilets. As people joined Wonderful Web Women, I asked every person who joined what they wanted. I developed my first $2000 program because I listened to what my audience wanted. My program has come specifically from my clients asking wanting to know how I do things step to step and how I achieved what I did by eight weeks.

Here are a few things you need to ask about yourself as you continue to change and evolve your business. Are you listening to your clients? Do you know their needs? Can you fit in that need to your current business model? Is your market changing? Are you on top of it? How connected are you to your audience and your target market?

This will help you improve your business and keep up with their ever-evolving needs.


5. I Tied My Personal Identity To My Business Identity

I’m not talking about personal branding. I’m talking about self-worth. If I had stepped back and not tie my identity to what the business was, I would have been more objective in logical with my approach to the business.

As the owner of Australia’s largest Internet Art Gallery I was cool Janet. I was artsy and interesting. My ego got in the way because I associated my personal value with the business. Because the business was failing, I saw myself as a failure as well. It took me a long time to recover my confidence.

What to do instead: Treat your business as an experiment

Wonderful Web Women was about being the passionate reporter when I first launched. It has since evolved into Romance Your Tribe. The business isn’t focused completely on me, my personality, or my ego. Instead, I focus on the systems I have put in place and the results I get. My personality is still strong in this brand but the business no longer defines my personal worth.

Now, I treat everything as an experiment.

I detach myself from the business. And because I look at it objectively, I see what can be improved and tweak and continually improve.

How much of your ego is associated with what it is you are doing in your business? If your confidence has been crushed, it’s okay. This is why I address this with my clients and put a lot of mindset stuff to buffer the blow. All the mindset stuff is important to your business.

Be kind to yourself and step back.

6. I did it on my own

What a crazy, slow way to grow a business. All my training in preparation for launching my first business boiled down to one-day workshop on how to do a business plan. I would have saved $100k and years of my life if I just found someone who had done what I wanted to do and asked them for help.

What to do instead: Seek help

When starting my second business, I identified what  knowledge and skills I lacked and needed. Then, I found people who did them well, and bought programs specific to what I wanted to achieve in my business. I became friends with mentors and followed systems that could quickly get me the results I need.

It worked out. I won best membership site within those first eight weeks. I had people contacting me all around the world asking me to coach them and I didn’t even know what coaching was. All because I realized that I didn’t have to do it alone.

The fastest way for me to get from A to B is to find someone who has done it, made mistakes, and tell me all the shortcuts.

I continue to spend tens of thousands of years per year on mentoring, workshops, and travel to meet people. It’s not all about coaching. Sometimes you just need to have this whole community of people who are passionate about the same things as you are so they could offer support.

That’s why I launched the free Romance Your Tribe Facebook group.

So you can get support from people on the same journey. You are very welcome to join us over here.

A Snapshot of Lessons From My Business Mistakes

    • Test your concept and start small. Don’t waste your time spending the money on a big business model if you don’t know it’s going to work.
    • Be super careful with your money – only spend on what is important.  Test your concept faster in the cheapest way you can and then move on or tweak what you have.
    • Market research and competitor research. Absolutely do not scrimp on this. You need to know who your competitors are and what your market really needs.
    • Keep on asking. Continue to do that. Keep listening, keep adapting your business accordingly. Otherwise you will be left behind.
    • Treat business like an experiment. Of course, it’s an experiment that you care about but in this way, your ego is not so wrapped up in this business and it will be easier for you to deal with failure.
    • Shortcut the heartache and money loss with mentoring and finding a community.

That’s where I can help you. You can check out the free training. You can join our Romance Your Tribe free Facebook group. You can join me for my paid programs.

Make sure that resources are available to you to shortcut your success. Whether it’s a paid program or you’re at least connected to a community that can give you that support. You don’t have to do this alone. You don’t have to be making mistakes on your own. There are people who are going to help you.

This has been a very vulnerable post for me to make so please feel free to tell me any of your insights and what “aha!”s you got from this article. Tell me in the comments below!